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Summer Safety

lifesavers on patrol at beach Lifeguard at pool

If you’re planning to visit a beach, inland waterway or pool this summer, prepare to stay safe around the water as well as COVIDSafe.

This summer it will be important to do some extra planning before you leave home, as public spaces including popular beaches, inland waterways and public pools may have increased crowds.

It’s a good idea to think about alternatives to popular spots before you leave home.

Be prepared for your day out:

Plan where you are going, make sure it is open and research potential alternative options in case it is too crowded
Check the weather before leaving
Know your own capabilities and plan for what you need to do to stay safe
Have an emergency plan / know how to call for help

Prepare for a day at the beach

Prepare for a day at the beach

Resources

Use the Beachsafe app at the link below to find your nearest patrolled beach and check patrolling dates and times.

Safety Information

Victoria has beautiful beaches, but they often have hidden dangers, such as rip currents and changeable conditions. Before a day at the beach, remember:

  • Wherever possible, swim at a beach patrolled by lifesavers and between the red and yellow flags.
  • Use the Beachsafe app to check for patrolled beach locations and times, forecasted local weather and conditions, and plan alternative options if your preferred beach is crowded.
  • Also check the beach hazard rating – a beach with a rating of 8/10 won’t be suitable for swimming for most people.
  • Check the VicEmergency app for beach closures and emergency information.
  • Check the weather forecast at bom.gov.au and watch for changing conditions, cool changes and wind direction changes that could impact your beach activities.
  • When you arrive at the beach, read safety signs and notices about local hazards, take time to observe conditions before entering the water. Ask lifesavers for advice if unsure.
  • Be prepared to change your plans if you get to the beach and find the conditions are not suitable for the activity you’ve planned. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Supervise children closely around water and always swim with friend.
  • If you’re going boating, make sure your vessel is in good working order, you’ve packed your safety gear, you’re wearing a lifejacket and you’ve checked the weather and ramp conditions before you head out at: boating.vic.gov.au

COVID Safety

  • Whether you’re heading out to the bay, open ocean, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and lagoons or water catchments – keep 1.5 metres apart and remember the sanitiser.
  • A good guide to keeping 1.5 metres apart at the beach is to use the length of a large beach towel.
  • For surfers, an average surfboard helps keep the 1.5 metres distance in the water.
  • Remember to carry a face mask at all times to wear if heading indoors or if you are unable to physically distance from others.
  • Be aware of current gathering limits for outdoor public places – visit: coronavirus.vic.gov.au

Rip Current Safety

Rips are the number one beach hazard for swimmers and each year more people drown in rips than are killed in shark attacks, cyclones and floods combined.
You can escape a rip, but it’s important to recognise one in the first place – watch this video to learn how to identify and avoid a rip current.

  • If you’re caught in a rip current, stay calm, conserve your energy and consider these options:
    • Raise an arm and call out to seek help.
    • Float with the current. It may return you to a shallow sandbank.
    • Swim parallel to the beach. You may escape the rip current.
    • Reassess the situation – if what you’re doing isn’t working, try another option until you return to shore
  • Whenever possible, swim between the red and yellow flags at a beach patrolled by lifesavers or lifeguards.

Lifesaving patrols

Lifesaving patrol run on weekends and public holidays until Sunday 18 April 2021 (Easter Sunday).

Use the Beachsafe app to find patrolled beaches and times.

Prepare for a day at an inland waterway

Prepare for a day at an inland waterway

Resources

Safety Information

There are as many public waterways in Victoria as there are ways to enjoy them. And if we want to keep enjoying this summer, we need to do what we can to stay safe.

Inland waterways often have hidden dangers, such as strong currents and submerged objects. Conditions can change rapidly with flooding occurring quickly.

Before a day at the river, creek or dam:

  • Check the weather forecast at www.bom.gov.au and watch for changing conditions.
  • Check VicEmergency app for warnings and alerts before travelling to inland waterways
  • When you arrive, check out safety signs and notices about local hazards.
  • Take time to observe conditions before entering the water. Ask locals or park rangers for advice if unsure.
  • Inland waterways have many hidden dangers such as submerged objects, debris and strong currents.
  • Be aware of changed conditions, such as flooding, especially if you haven’t been to this location for a while.
  • Be aware of unstable edges on river banks, dam banks and lakes.
  • Be aware of the effects of cold water on your body.
  • Supervise children closely around water and always swim with friend
  • Drink alcohol responsibly around water and water activities. Avoid drinking until after your water activities.
  • If you’re going boating, make sure your vessel is in good working order, you’ve packed your safety gear, you’re wearing a lifejacket and you’ve checked the weather and ramp conditions before you head out at: boating.vic.gov.au Visit msv.vic.gov.au/prepare to learn the five key messages you need for a safe journey in a boat, canoe or kayak this summer.

COVID Safety

  • Whether you’re out on a bay, open ocean, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and lagoons or water catchments – keep 1.5 metres apart and remember the sanitiser
  • A good guide to keeping 1.5 metres apart at the beach is to use the length of a large towel.
  • Remember to carry a face mask at all times to wear if heading indoors or if you are unable to physically distance from others.
  • Be aware of current gathering limits for outdoor public places – visit: coronavirus.vic.gov.au

Prepare for a day at the pool

Prepare for a day at the pool

Resources

Whether you’re at a public or home pool, supervision is the key to a safe day by the water.

Before a day at a public pool:

  • Check capacity limits / lock outs. Some pools may require bookings, or provide advice on their website or social media channels if the facility is full.
  • Parents supervise, lifeguards save lives: Children under 10 should be actively supervised by a parent/guardian, they should always being in your sight and children under 5 should be within arm’s reach.
  • Always watch your child around water, not your phone.
  • Non-swimmers and weak swimmers should not swim alone and should stay in areas of shallow water.
  • Those with pre-existing medical conditions should advise the lifeguard of their condition
  • All pool users should follow the pool rules and the lifeguard instructions for their safety and the safety of those around them
  • Enrol your children in swimming lessons to ensure they learn swimming and water safety skills.

COVID Safety

  • You must be double vaccinated, or have a valid medical exemption to attend any public swimming pool.
  • When visiting indoor pools, remember to carry a face mask at all times to wear  if you are unable to physically distance from others. When removing face masks to enter the pool, leave with your towel and replace immediately when you get out of the pool.
  • Remember to keep 1.5 metres apart and use hand sanitiser regularly.
  • When visiting outdoor pools, keep 1.5 metres apart, remember the sanitiser, and carry a fitted face mask to wear if you are unable to physically distance from others and when in indoor parts of the facility.
  • A good guide to keeping 1.5 metres apart at the pool is to use the length of a large towel.

Before a day by the home pool, remember:

  • Always actively supervise children closely around water.
  • Keep children under 5 years must be within arms’ reach.
  • Restrict access to water around the home:
    • Never leave pool gates propped open
    • Always empty inflatable pools and paddling pools immediately after use
    • Remove climbable objects from the pool area and surrounds
  • Ensure your pool/spa fence is compliant, well maintained and registered with your local council.
  • For farms and rural areas – use a child safe play area to restrict a child’s access to water bodies (such as dams) that cannot be fenced.
  • Enrol your children in swimming lessons to ensure they learn swimming and water safety skills.
  • Learn CPR and know what to do in an emergency.

COVID Safety

Be aware of current restrictions for visitors to your home: coronavirus.vic.gov.au

 

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