LIFESAVER patrols along Kingston beaches have ended with the summer months so beachgoers should always let others know when they are going for a swim.
That’s the message from Life Saving Victoria who said drowning deaths in winter across the state now account for nearly one third of all such fatalities throughout the year.
LSV operations manager Greg Scott says beachgoers should never head unaccompanied into the sea.
“Read safety signs whenever recreating near the water and ensure you understand the local hazards and dangers,” he said. “Never swim alone. Always make sure someone else is looking out for you around the water.”
There were 49 rescues by lifesavers at Kingston beaches this summer according to LSV figures. Lifesavers administered first aid on 182 occasions including 16 “major” incidences.
Boaters are also been warned to take care over the winter months on Port Phillip Bay’s waters.
Maritime Safety Victoria recreational boating safety manager Lisa Taylor said boaters often drown when they fall in the water unexpectedly.
“The best way to avoid entering the water is to ensure your boat is suitable for the conditions and in good working order. Check the weather, wind and sea conditions before you head out on the water,’’ Ms Taylor said.
“Dressing warmly and wearing a lifejacket that is correctly fitted and in good condition can help you buy time should you unexpectedly fall in the water. Make sure you raise the alarm as soon as you can.’’
Sergeant Mark Braun from the Water Police said it is important people plan their trip before they head out.
“Just because the sunny weather has gone, doesn’t mean the risk has,’’ Sergeant Braun said.
“If anything, the dynamic winter weather should be an additional prompt for people to plan their trip before they head out.
“Let people know where you’re going, how long you’re planning to be out and make sure your safety equipment is up to date.’’