With WA’s coastal and ocean drowning deaths currently up 110% on this time last year, with 21 fatalities recorded to date, beachgoers are being urged to exercise caution when heading to the beach this Australia Day.
While the Australia Day public holiday falls on Tuesday, Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) is also predicting Monday to be busy on our beaches with many West Australians extending their weekend to coincide with the public holiday.
“Spending time at the beach is an iconic Australian past time, and while we love people recreating on our coast, we also want them and their friends and families to go home safely,” said SLSWA Lifesaving Coordinator Nick Pavy.
Our message this Australia Day public holiday is not a new one – swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags. This is the safest place and where our lifesavers can best see you.”
“We also remind people that alcohol and swimming don’t mix, so for those looking to indulge in a drink or two, stay out of the water.”
People travelling over the weekend and Australia Day are urged to take extra care and a few extra minutes to plan their trip and find out where patrols are scheduled.
“Beachgoers who are unfamiliar with patrolled beach locations and local conditions and hazards may be more at risk of a drowning incident, so making informed decisions about where to swim or fish is really important,” said Mr Pavy.
The beach is a dynamic environment and conditions can change quickly, so stay aware of your surroundings and always keep a close eye on children around the water”.
“For those looking to spend time out on the water boating or rock fishing, please remember to take the necessary precautions, including carrying appropriate equipment and wearing a life jacket.”
For a full list of beaches patrolled on both Monday 25th January, and the Australia Day long weekend, click here.
To keep up to date on current hazards and warnings follow SLSWA on twitter at @slswa
Photo credit: Surf Life Saving WA
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Megan Jones, Marketing & Communications Officer
P: 9207 6666
SLSWA Media Phone – media are reminded of the SLSWA Media Phone that is manned at the SurfCom radio operations base. Please call this number with media enquiries, particularly over weekends and Public Holidays: 0448 025 339
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