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Gippsland boaters urged to be more responsible around water as part of National Safe Boating Week 1 - 7 October 2022
Boaters are being urged to exercise caution on the water, after Life Saving Victoria statistics revealed they're more likely to drown during October than any other month in Victoria.
Since the year 2000, one in six of all boating-related drowning incidents in Victoria occurred in October, coinciding with the weather warming in spring. The warning coincides with National Safe Boating Week, which runs from 1-7 October and in 2022 focuses on the effectiveness of lifejackets with the simple message to "wear it and maintain it".
This National Safe Boating Week, be alert, steer clear of large vessels and watercraft that can be restricted in their ability to stop or turn and operate at a safe speed at all times
Wear life jacket around water
Maritime Safety Victoria manager recreational boating safety Gareth Johnson said a life jacket can only save your life if you are wearing it. "If you end up in the water, you are much more likely to survive if you are wearing a life jacket and when accidents do happen, there is rarely time to put a life jacket on."
"Life jackets must be maintained to ensure reliable operation, this includes self-inspection and servicing by accredited agents. There are many types of life jackets available today that meet the appropriate standards, so find the style that works for you and wear it." Mr Johnson said.
LSV general manager health promotion and communications Dr Bernadette Matthews added that of the boating incidents that occurred during the past decade, 79 per cent were either not wearing a life jacket or their life jacket was ill fitting or worn incorrectly.
Exercise simple safety steps
Dr Matthews also urged boaters to exercise simple safety steps to put an end to the tragic trend of boating-related drowning incidents. "Always check the weather before heading out, keeping in mind that it can change suddenly, never head out alone and always carry a means of raising the alarm, such as a radio or EPIRB so that you are not left struggling in the water."
"You should also have a plan in place of what to do if something goes wrong, such as practising getting back onto your vessel, in case you do fall overboard."
Tragically, seven people have already drowned in Victoria since 1 July this year. "While anyone can drown, no one should. That's why we ask Victorians to think of those who matter the most and make safe decisions in, on and around the water to avoid their day out ending in a drowning tragedy." Dr Matthews said.
Pictures from Life Saving Victoria Facebook page.
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