December 20, 2017
Authorities are urging visitors to dams and lakes to play it safe this summer in the wake of a number of recent incidents.
Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the “Play It Safe” campaign aimed to raise awareness about the safety risks associated with inland waterways.
The Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2017 highlighted that inland waterways, including dams and lakes, were again responsible for the highest number of drowning deaths in Australia.
Of the total 291 fatalities, 97 deaths occurred in inland waterways. Of these numbers, NSW recorded the highest (36) followed by Queensland (20).
“The summer period is the busiest time for our lakes across the region. Between Christmas and New Year alone up to 200,000 people are expected to visit our lakes and recreation facilities,” Dr Lynham said.
“Even though the stillness of lakes can create a tranquil and safe feeling, accidents can still happen if visitors get complacent.
“Queenslanders grow up learning about safety in the surf and in the pool but it’s just as important to follow the same safety rules in still water.”
There were a number of safety incidents at south-east Queensland lakes at the weekend.
Police were called to Lake Wivenhoe on Sunday to rescue two people who were found clinging to their capsized vessel about one kilometre from the shoreline.
On the same day, two people were taken to the hospital after their jet skis collided at Lake Moogerah.