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Swimmers at Australian beach

25 January 2022

Summer means swimming! Follow these tips to stay safe in the water

Swimming is synonymous with the Aussie summer. There’s nothing like the feeling of immersing yourself in the water on a hot day, whether it’s at the beach, a pool, a river, a lake or other waterhole.

But this wonderful pastime requires smart choices or else it can end in tragedy. In 2021, 294 people drowned in Australia. This is a 20 percent increase on the previous year, with life-saving organisations saying that the impact of lockdowns is partly to blame. There was also a 150 percent increase in rescues.

It’s not just the beach where swimmers get into trouble – the number of people drowning in inland rivers and waterways increased by more than half during this time.

As we prepare to celebrate Australia Day and head into the hottest months of the year, please educate yourself about the risks, know how to make sensible decisions and avoid peer pressure. It may save your life – or that of someone you care about.

Read this before you dive in

Don’t miss our free water safety program!

If you’re not very confident in the water, or you’d like to refresh your water safety skills after a long break, take advantage of our upcoming free classes at beautiful Ocean Grove Beach. Open to all students, you’ll find this program particularly helpful if you don’t have a lot of swimming experience. (There are also upcoming lessons planned for Warrnambool and Melbourne, so stay tuned for more info!)

These aren’t formal learn-to-swim classes – rather, qualified instructors will explain water safety theory and demonstrate some practical skills like body boarding and rescue strategies. You’ll then be able to take a dip and put your newfound expertise into action in a supervised environment.

Also check out Play it Safe by the Water and LifeSaving Victoria for more water safety information and resources, including in languages other than English. You can also follow Life Saving Victoria on Facebook for regular updates.

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