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Overlooking Warrnambool's main beach and breakwater

LSV's Long Weekend Plea

LSV's Long Weekend Plea

Overlooking Warrnambool's main beach and breakwater

Play it extra safe around water over the long weekend, says LSV

With the Queen’s Birthday weekend offering some of the first opportunities for Victorians to get out on and in the water in months, water agencies are urging people to play it safe.

While the state experienced a lower than average drowning toll over the warmer months than previous years, an eagerness to return to some recreational water activities this winter could see people at increased risk of drowning and aquatic injuries.

Life Saving Victoria’s Principal Research Associate Dr Bernadette Matthews said that with the first weekend of winter now upon us, all Victorians would do well to heed safety messages and take additional precautions around the water.

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“Recreating on or near the water in winter comes with its own risks, including the risk of falling into cold water,” Dr Matthews said.

“Swimming and activities in cold water can lead to breathing difficulties, hyperthermia and drowning, while sudden falls into cold water can be fatal.

Often over winter we see more boating and fishing incidents, while research also shows that the risk of drowning is higher on a public holiday than any other time, as more people travel to unfamiliar environments.

“Some simple actions to stay safe include always checking the weather or conditions before you venture out, know your limits, wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol and go with a friend.”

As Victorians take advantage of relaxed travel restrictions, Maritime Safety Victoria director Cameron Toy asked boaters and paddlers to put thought into preparing.

“Check for weather updates and ensure your craft is ready for a winter outing and seaworthy for the planned activity,” Mr Toy said.

“If you do enter cold water, you will need to act quickly to raise the alarm, so carry a distress beacon or waterproof mobile phone on your person".

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