Royal Life Saving is urging the public to take care around water this Australia Day weekend, with their research showing that the risk of drowning doubles on public holidays.
Alcohol is a major risk factor, with 37 per cent of drowning deaths on public holidays involving alcohol.
Royal Life Saving CEO Justin Scarr said people should avoid alcohol around water, never go alone, and wear a lifejacket when boating and fishing.
‘Too many people have lost their lives to drowning this summer, especially at inland waterways. People underestimate the risks of swimming in rivers and lakes, where conditions can change quickly and without warning.’
Men at greater risk
In particular, RLS is strongly warning men not to take risks. Men have accounted for 75% of drowning deaths so far this summer.
‘Have fun but be safe this Australia Day,’ Mr Scarr said. ‘Alcohol increases risk-taking behaviour, impairs judgement and impacts swimming ability. Inland waterways and alcohol are a deadly combination.’