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June drowning risk reminder for Gippsland boaters and fishers over Monarch birthday public holiday

LSV warns boaters and fishers of drowning risk in June, especially on public holidays. Lifejackets and water safety urged. Increase in drowning incidents in Victorian waters.

By news@gippsland - 5th June 2023 - Back to News

Life Saving Victoria (LSV) has issued an urgent reminder warning boaters and fishers of their risk of drowning during the month of June, as one in five fatal drownings during this month in the past 20 years involved people fishing or boating. Victorians' drowning risk increases further on the King's Birthday long weekend, with Victorians 68 per cent more likely to drown on a public holiday than any other day of the year.

Life Saving Victoria warns boaters and fishers of higher drowning risk in June, especially on the King's Birthday long weekend

Life Saving Victoria warns boaters and fishers of higher drowning risk in June, especially on the King's Birthday long weekend

Winter water risks

LSV manager research and evaluation Dr Hannah Calverley said the colder weather should not stop water safety being front of mind for those spending time in, on or around water this winter. "With Melbourne winter getting underway, your risk of death by drowning may be the last thing on your mind, especially if you are fishing or boating and don't plan on entering the water, however, you can never relax when it comes to water safety," Dr Calverley said.

"Unintentional entry was a factor in 41 percent of fatal drownings in the past decade and concerningly, in about four in five boating related drowning deaths during this time, the victims were not wearing a lifejacket, or their life jacket was ill-fitting or incorrect for the activity or conditions."

"This is why lifejackets are a non-negotiable piece of safety equipment for anyone boating or fishing, to buy you time to survive should you end up in the water. You shouldn't hesitate to put on your seatbelt when getting in the car and you should think of wearing your lifejacket while on the boat equally as important," Dr Calverley said.

Life-threatening cold shock

Safe Transport Victoria manager - recreational boating safety Gareth Johnson reminded boaters and fishers to "know the three" and stay safe out on the water this winter. "Suddenly entering cold water can be life threatening, with the risk of boaters experiencing 'cold shock' and hypothermia."

"You need to be able to get back on your boat or paddle craft quickly or be able to call for help straight away. Know the three: Remember to always wear a lifejacket, carry two waterproof communication devices and know the weather before and during your trip," Mr Johnson said.

Tragically, since 1 July 2022, 52 people have drowned in Victorian waters. This is eleven more than the ten-year average and of the 52 fatal drowning incidents, 66 per cent occurred in inland or coastal waterways, and 34 per cent were around the home or within other bodies of water.

Pictures from Back Country Fishing YouTube channel.


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