Drownings prompt action
THE Royal Life Saving Society of WA and UWA are urging the community to stay safe around water this summer after a recent spate of drownings in WA.
The not-for-profit organisation and the university have collaborated to provide bronze medallion training courses in the Swan River to reduce the rate of drowning.
Five people have already drowned in WA in the past two months, compared with seven people in 2016.
Royal Life Saving Society of WA inland waterways co-ordinator Sam Bell said nationally there had also been a greater number of drownings in recent months compared with previous years.
“Royal Life Saving is urging West Australians to stay safe when swimming or enjoying our rivers, lakes, pools or beaches,” she said.
“There are many hazards that underlie our inland waterways. These hazards may include the presence of submerged objects, boat propellers, crumbling river banks or changes in water depth or currents.”
The organisation will hold two sevenweek courses for UWA students and the wider community between January and March, teaching survival swimming skills, CPR technique and aquatic rescues.
Ms Bell also encouraged people to take note of the organisation’s campaign Respect the River, which promotes four main messages – wear a life jacket, avoid alcohol around water, never swim alone and learn how to save a life.
“These skills are applicable to real life situations and thus Royal Life Saving believes that obtaining your bronze medallion is essential in preparing to keep yourself and others safe in all waterways, all year round,” she said.
For more information, visit www.sport.uwa.edu.au.