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Stay safe in the water this summer

30 December 2014

The State Government, together with Surf Life Saving South Australia, SA Police Water Operation Unit, Royal Life Saving Society and DPTI Marine Safety is reminding everyone to be safe and responsible around water this summer.

Henley Beach vista

Tragically, 266 people drowned in Australian waterways between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014, and 14 of those were in our State. Everyone swimming at the beach, on the river or at home in pools should take care, and never mix alcohol and swimming.

Surf Life Saving South Australia urged all South Australians to swim under the supervision of lifesavers between the red and yellow flags. Their slogan is: "If our lifesavers can't see you, they can't save you."

It’s so important that people realise just how dangerous beaches can be – even on those days of 'perfect' beach weather.

Royal Life Saving Society SA urged pool owners to be alert to the dangers of drowning and ensure their pools are safe.

Child drowning and injury is a major danger around all pools. Pools must be fenced, chemicals must be locked away, and children must be supervised.

The Home Pool Safety App, which is available for download through the App Store, is easy to use and includes an extensive checklist which covers everything from the swimming pool gate and fence, supervision, emergency preparation, chemicals and more.

Recreational boaties should inform family or friends of their plans on the water and ensure they have the right safety gear on board.

SA Police Water Operation Unit and DPTI marine safety officers will be out in force during the holidays across SA waterways to monitor boating activity and provide help and advice where needed.

“Lifejackets are an extremely important piece of safety equipment on any recreational vessel. There needs to be a lifejacket for every passenger on board, and it is crucial that passengers understand when these need to be worn under SA law,” said DPTI Senior Marine Safety Officer Dean Holloway.

Shark patrols have already been providing regular coverage from North Haven to Rapid Bay since the start of December and have now been extended as far as the south coast between Victor Harbor and Goolwa every day of the school holidays, weekends and public holidays. The service will run through until the end of March, but there is the option to extend the patrols if required.

The fixed-wing service is run by the UniSA Aviation Academy and complements the helicopter service provided by Surf Life Saving SA.

For more information:

  • about boating and marine safety go to
  • on swimming pool safety go to
  • about beach safety, download the free Beachsafe App or go to