With summer in full swing, many people are enjoying time at our beaches, rivers and pools to beat the heat. But, with a tragic start to summer that has seen eight Western Australians lose their lives to drowning, and a number of rescues off our coastline, Royal Life Saving is urging seniors to Make the Right Call and keep themselves, their families and friends safe around the water.
While drowning is perceived as an issue that mainly affects young children, latest research shows that over the past decade drowning rates are highest amongst seniors, representing over one quarter of total drowning deaths recorded across Australia during this time. Jen Mickle from Royal Life Saving WA says that while many people have grown up around the water, it’s important to be reminded of ways to stay safe. “We understand that many seniors have spent a lifetime enjoying the water and know how to stay safe. Our priority is to prevent seniors from drowning by reminding them of how to stay safe and Make the Right Call when it comes to their safety around water.”
“We also want to reinforce the positive benefits of active ageing. But contrary to popular belief, unlike riding a bike, swimming skills can fade over time, especially without regular practice. It’s crucial that seniors refresh their swimming skills and stay confident in and around the water.” Royal Life Saving WA offers FREE AquaSkills 55+ classes at select public swimming pools throughout the State that provide seniors the opportunity to get back into the water and refresh their swimming, water safety and personal survival skills. Jen Mickle says that “these programs are not only an opportunity to refresh skills but are a great way to meet new people and have fun in the water.”
Royal Life Saving WA is encouraging seniors, their families, and the broader community to join us in making water safety a priority this summer and ‘Make the Right Call’ by following these water safety tips:
- Know the Conditions – Always check local conditions, especially if you aren’t familiar with the local area.
- Know Your Limits – Whether you’re a seasoned swimmer or a casual dipper, know your swimming abilities and never overestimate them. Also, talk with your GP about how medications may impact your abilities in the water.
- Avoid Alcohol Around Water – By staying sober while in or on the water, you not only reduce the risk to yourself, but others enjoying the water with you.
- Wear a Lifejacket – No matter how old or how experienced you are, it’s important to always wear a lifejacket while boating or fishing.
- Take A Mate – Not only is it more fun, but it also means that you have someone to raise an alarm or find help quickly in an emergency.
For more information visit www.royallifesavingwa.com.au/programs/make-the-right-call