BE IT at the beach, on the river, in the pool or at sea, South Australians are being urged to stay safe around the water this summer – especially over the festive season.
The State Government and Surf Life Saving SA are urging safety, responsibility, caution and common sense.
Emergency Services Minister Chris Picton has also called for the South Australian Water Safety Committee to convene early in the new year to address beach safety for groups at high risk of drowning, including migrant communities.
Mr Picton said the committee will be asked to identify ways to better connect with these groups.
“Tragically we have seen two deaths at metropolitan beaches already this summer and we are urging all South Australians to take care when near or in the water to ensure we do not see any further tragedy,” Mr Picton said.
“I have ordered the water safety committee to convene to urgently address the issue of migrant and tourist safety at our beaches.
“We want to make sure we are connecting with all parts of our population because it is critical that everyone who visits our beaches has knowledge of safe swimming practices.”
Membership of the SA Water Safety Committee includes a range of government and non-government stakeholders covering water-based activities like swimming, fishing and boating, which aims to prevent water-related injuries and drowning deaths.
People out on the water are also being reminded to wear life jackets, with new regulations introduced this month that will be enforced following a 12-month education campaign.
For information on the State Government’s new lifejacket laws visit the Government On Deck or Boating and Marine websites.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said recent boating tragedies highlighted how dangerous it can be out on the water.
“Every time someone drowns or dies on the water it has a terrible impact on their family, friends, rescuers and the local community,” Mr Mullighan said.
“We know people love to get out on the boat at this time of year, whether it’s on the river or out in the ocean, but with so much activity out on the water the chances of accidents and mishaps are even greater.
“Too many people lose their lives unnecessarily because they do not wear life jackets and, while we do not want to stop people enjoying themselves, we want to make sure that we’re doing what we can to reduce serious injuries and deaths out on the water.”