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Be Water Safe, Not Sorry

Look out for your mates this summer

Publication date: Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Summer has arrived, and the NSW Government, in partnership with Surf Life Saving NSW, Royal Life Saving Society Australia and Marine Rescue NSW, is reminding everyone in NSW to Be Water Safe, Not Sorry this summer season.

The 2018 water safety campaign, Be Water Safe, Not Sorry, was recently launched in response to the number of drownings that occur in NSW throughout summer.

Last year, many drowning deaths in NSW happened in the summer months. A total of 36 people fatally drowned, with seven people tragically losing their lives in our waterways between Christmas and 2 January 2018.

Too many people lose their life each year at the beach, on rock platforms, in backyard swimming pools, and in rivers, lakes and streams. On average, over the last ten years, 35 people have drowned in NSW every summer, and others have suffered non-fatal drowning incidents often leading to catastrophic injuries. Each drowning incident shatters communities and families, and deeply affects our emergency services personnel and professional and volunteer life savers who respond to these tragedies.

Be Water Safe, Not Sorry drives home the very real risks associated with water and educates people on what they can do to stay safe, including:

  • Always supervise small children in or near water. Don't get distracted. Most child drownings occur at home, most commonly in the backyard swimming pool. A lack of adult supervision is the most common factor leading to these deaths.
  • Stay sober. Don't drink or take drugs and then go swimming. If you drink or take drugs and swim you are putting yourself at risk of drowning. Last summer, 11 per cent of fatal drownings involved drugs or alcohol.
  • Swim at patrolled beaches, where possible. No flags, means no lifesavers. Nearly 36 per cent of people who drowned last summer did so at the beach, frequently at unpatrolled locations or outside of patrol hours.

The Be Water Safe, Not Sorry campaign will be reminding people to be safe as they head to the beach, pool or waterway, via radio, social media and newspapers, and while listening to summer playlists.

The campaign will also be showcased on buses and billboards in drowning 'black spots' over summer including the Hawkesbury, Murrumbidgee, Nepean and Macquarie Rivers, Maroubra, Bondi, Dee Why, Whale Beach, Wollongong City, Port Kembla, Mollymook, Shelly Beach and Park South/North Wall at Coffs Harbour.

Follow the campaign with #bewatersafenotsorry and visit the Be Water Safe, Not Sorry website for more information. 

​Below: Be Water Safe, Not Sorry will be reminding people to be safe near all waterways in NSW this summer, including backyard pools, rivers and beaches.