Simple tips to help keep family, friends safe in water
Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club members have spent the past 99 years watching over Nielson Park Beach and with the festive season approaching they are urging everyone to swim between the flags.
Club president John McGregor said beach patrols were well underway and operational every weekend.
He said they would continue through to the long weekend in May 2021.
“Our advice to people is to always swim between the flags and check the conditions before entering the water,” he said.
“Watch you children all the time to ensure a day at the beach is fun for everyone.”
With thousands of visitors to the local beach each year, Mr McGregor said their aim was to have zero preventable deaths.
He said their club had about 500 member and hundreds of juniors in Nippers as they approached their centenary.
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett has echoed their call for water safety, urging vigilance when watching over children in the water.
“We’re a water loving nation, there’s no doubt about it, but that means we have to take extra care and precautions,” he said.
“I can’t wait to take my grandchildren to the beach this summer, but a beach excursion means a lot of responsibility, preparation and learning.
“Parental supervision is the most important thing we can all do to protect our kids and make sure we all have a good time in and around the water.”
The NewsMail recently reported the amount of drownings/near drowning incidents across the Wide Bay in recent years was surprisingly high, with the Queensland Ambulance Service recording 31 cases for the past 12 months alone.
The number of drownings/near drownings incidents for 2016 in the Wide Bay was 27; while in 2017 there was 29 incidents, 24 incidents in 2018, 29 incidents last year and 22 this year.
Mr Bennett said the number were devastating.
“Any life lost is one too many,” he said.
“We are extremely lucky to live in an area that has so many beautiful beaches but it’s important to remember just how dangerous water can be.
“Learning to swim is an absolute vital skill in our region.
“So if you haven’t already, make sure you and your friends and family brush up on those swimming skills this summer and learn CPR.”