ALMOST 1000 people have drowned in a river, creek or stream in the past 13 years. This makes rivers the leading location for drowning in Australia.
So why are so many drowning in our local rivers?
The flat, still surface of a river gives a false sense of security. You cannot see ice-cold water, snags such as tree branches or strong currents but they can be lethal.
Dangerous activities such as consuming alcohol, driving through floodwaters and not wearing a lifejacket add to the alarming figures.
People need to act responsibly around rivers and avoid behaviour that increases the risk of drowning.
The society has launched a campaign to save lives on rivers and is asking people when enjoying rivers to always wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol around water, never swim alone and learn lifesaving skills.
It is simple, respect the river.
JUSTIN SCARR, chief executive,
Royal Life Saving Society