We might have grown up next to the water, but drowning is a still a reality many of us refuse to face.
In Australia, in this day and age, it’s almost absurd to discover that last year, 291 people lost their lives on our shores as a result of drowning.
In response to these needless deaths and in support of the Australian Water Safety Council’s goal of zero preventable drowning deaths, the Coalition Government has announced a three-year $36.9 million funding commitment to the water safety sector.
Senator Bridget McKenzie, the Minister for Sport said, “The Coalition Government is committed to doing all it can to reduce drownings, and this longer-term funding will give organisations the ongoing support they need to do their vital work. It will also help protect international visitors unfamiliar with Australia’s beaches, rivers and waterways, from the dangers of activities in and around water.
“The new streamlined Water and Snow Safety Program consolidates existing initiatives,” she explained, “and gives the water and snow safety sector the certainty it needs to undertake longer-term projects to keep Australians and international visitors safe in our aquatic and alpine environments.”
The funding will be invested in a range of snow safety initiatives and drowning prevention programs, such as educating young children and their parents about the dangers of aquatic environments, teaching children to swim and survive, and buying rescue and safety equipment.
The bottom line is, water safety is everyone’s responsibility, as Senator McKenzie explained.
“People need to remain vigilant around water. Watch out for yourself and others, know your swimming ability, learn how to identify rips, swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags, always supervise children on, in and around water and never swim alone.”