The Nationals in Government are warning people to stay safe around water to prevent a repeat of last year’s tragic drownings.

In the lead up to summer, Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro was urging the community to stay safe in and around the water, as the NSW Government launched its 2018 water safety advertising campaign.

“Last summer, 36 people tragically drowned in NSW waterways, and seven of those were between Christmas and January 2,” Mr Barilaro said. “While this is an improvement on the 2016-17 summer, we want everyone to return home safely from their day enjoying the water. Each year, men aged between 18 and 24 are over-represented in our state’s drowning deaths and I am urging them to look out for their mates and don’t drink alcohol or take drugs before swimming.”

“The Monaro is home to many beautiful waterways; we can all play our part to keep safe around them this summer.”

Based on the findings of a Royal Life Saving NSW (RLSNSW) report, the Be Water Safe, Not Sorry campaign aims to drive home the very real risks associated with water and educate people on what they can do to stay safe, including:

  • Stay sober – don’t drink or take drugs and then go swimming
  • Always supervise small children in or near water – don’t let phones or household jobs distract you.

Expanding on last year’s campaign, people will be reminded to stay safe as they head to the beach, pool or other waterway via radio, social media, newspapers, billboards and buses, and while listening to summer playlists.

Minister for Police Troy Grant said people were understandably excited for the Christmas break and school holidays, and often flocked to our beautiful waterways to celebrate this period.

“Unfortunately, the festive season is also the peak time when we lose loved ones to drowning, especially on public holidays,” Mr Grant said. “While we want everyone to have a good time, mates don’t let mates do stupid things, so we are reminding everyone to take care and step in if you think someone shouldn’t be swimming. Just like the NSW road toll, we want zero fatalities at our beaches and waterways, so please remember – where there’s water there’s danger.”