Stepping up to summer safety

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Fun in the sun: Rye Pre-School children enjoyed a fun, but educational, day at the beach last week to get them thinking about water safety over summer. Their morning Seahorse group checked out the Water Police boat, Monday 28 October. Here, Guyam and Eddie man the helm of the hi-tech Zodiac Hurricane watched by Leading Senior Constable John Shields, of the Water Police. Pictures: Gary Sissons

Summer safety: Leading Senior Constable Stephen Carter, of the Water Police, and Acting Sergeant Steve Drew, of Rosebud police.

MORNINGTON Peninsula police and the water police are stepping up their campaign to make our bays safer and reduce the number of marine safety incidents this summer.

Acting Sergeant Steve Drew, of Rosebud police, said: “Local police attended an increased number of drownings or near drownings last summer with many involving visitors to the area who didn’t appear to have a full understanding or appreciation of how treacherous the water can be on our local back-beaches.

“This is particularly so on days with off-shore northerly winds and two-plus-metre swells, when the ocean looks completely flat between sets of waves.

“Even on days with small swells, larger ‘double-up’ waves are very common. They are good for the local surfers, but very dangerous for anyone walking along the edge of the rocks.”

Acting Sergeant Drew warns parents not to drop their guard on beaches. “Please ensure you’re actively supervising your children in any water at all times,” he said.

“Don’t expect anyone else to watch over your kids, and don’t get distracted using your mobile phones or chatting to others.”

Leading Senior Constable Steve Carter, from the Water Police, advises boat owners that those aged 10 and under on boats “must be wearing their lifejackets at all times”.

“Water police will be working hard this summer to ensure all boat users are complying with all safety requirements,” he said.

“I strongly recommend boaters to familiarise themselves with the Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook, which is free and also online.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 5 November 2019

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