Safety first for dams and lakes

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE FENCEPOST -

FISH­ING at Par­adise Dam, wa­ter­ski­ing at Lake Ca­nia and camp­ing at Boon­dooma Dam – as the school hol­i­days ar­rive, warm days out­side with the fam­ily spring to mind for many Bur­nett lo­cals.

But while they might have un­wind­ing on their mind, they are be­ing re­minded to stay aware of the haz­ards that days by the wa­ter can bring.

“Stay vig­i­lant and stay safe” is the mes­sage for the thou­sands ex­pected to take ad­van­tage of Queens­land’s dams and lakes dur­ing the Septem­ber school hol­i­days.

“Our dams, lakes and weirs are a hive of ac­tiv­ity for fam­ily recre­ational pur­suits, such as swim­ming, fish­ing, wa­ter ski­ing and camp­ing,’’ Min­is­ter for Nat­u­ral Re­sources Dr An­thony Lyn­ham said.

“Risky be­hav­iour, un­der­wa­ter haz­ards, chang­ing wa­ter lev­els and ig­no­rance of warn­ing signs can com­bine to cre­ate se­ri­ous risks.”

Mr Lyn­ham said at all times he asked peo­ple to watch their mates to be aware of their sur­round­ings when en­ter­ing the wa­ter, in­clud­ing sub­merged haz­ards, and to re­frain from tres­pass­ing on pri­vate prop­erty ad­join­ing the wa­ter way.

“This safety mes­sage is es­pe­cially per­ti­nent with the Septem­ber school break al­most upon us,’’ he said.

Vis­i­tors should keep at least 200 me­tres away from dam and weir walls or out­side the buoy line up­stream of the wall; read the signs - they con­tain im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion about wa­ter, recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties, po­ten­tial haz­ards, and no-go zones; and stay aware of the sur­round­ings - fast flow­ing wa­ter can be re­leased sud­denly from a dam, or weir and can knock you off your feet.

PHOTO: ERICA MUR­REE

STAY VIG­I­LANT: Fam­i­lies are urged be safe these hol­i­days.

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