Cumberland Council is urging residents and pool users to ‘be water safe, not sorry’ this summer by increasing safety awareness about risky behaviour that can lead to drowning and water injuries.
Mayor Greg Cummings said tragically every year people die or are seriously injured at beaches, in pools and other waterways.
"Being around the pool, at the beach or by the river is part of our summer culture in Australia but it's so important to remember, especially as we move into the 'silly season', to be sensible and safe around water," Mayor Cummings said.
“Sadly, most child drownings and injuries happen at home in a backyard swimming pool. No matter how long your child has been swimming for, children must always be supervised in or near water. A split second of being distracted by your phone, attending to other people or answering the door, is all it takes for tragedy to happen.
“A Royal Life Saving NSW report found that 78 per cent of those who lost their lives to drowning were men, with young males aged 25 – 34 years most at risk. These statistics are an important reminder that all ages are at risk of accident.
“If you’re not confident in the water, now is a perfect time to take advantage of learn to swim classes at Cumberland swim centres. We have classes for children and adults, so people of all ages can enjoy swimming and water activities.
“Cumberland pools are open for summer, with some variations to operating hours over Christmas.
“Swim centres will be closed from 5pm on 24 December until 27 December, with the exception of Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre which reopens at 6am on Boxing Day. All swim centres resume normal opening hours on 27 December and will be open on the New Year’s Day public holiday as well.
“It’s the perfect time to take advantage of lessons and activities available. Visit our website cumberland.nsw.gov.au to find enrol in swim classes or find pool opening times.”
Some key tips for being safe in the water, including pools, the beach, rivers and lakes:
- Always actively supervise children in and around the water.
- Ensure pool gates and latches are in working order, never prop open gates.
- Never swim alone or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Always swim between the flags.
- Wear a life jacket if you’re on a boat and use floatation devices when swimming if you need.
- If you do get in trouble, stay calm and signal for help.
Visit watersafety.nsw.gov.au for further information.