LIFESAVERS have taken in their red and yellow flags for the last time this season, the busiest ever, according to Life Saving Victoria.
Since mid-November 2021, volunteer lifesavers and professional lifeguards from peninsula lifesaving clubs and the roving rescue watercraft (jet ski) service carried out 156 rescues.
Their efforts were part of more than 700 rescues, 140 major first aids and what is anticipated to be over 200,000 patrol hours carried out across more than 60 locations across the state.
Rescues were up 18 per cent on the previous season, which was the busiest recorded at that stage.
“In Victoria, 62 per cent of drownings occur outside of summer months. Unintentional entry into the water – such as walking near the water and falling or slipping on unstable rocks or riverbanks – is one of the most common risks around waterways,” Life Saving Victoria’s general manager lifesaving services Liam Krige said.
“In winter, even if the sun is shining, average Victorian sea temperatures can drop below 15 degrees Celsius, which can cause cold water shock.
“Sudden immersion in cold water can send your body into shock and significantly increase your risk of drowning, especially when combined with unintentional entry.
“If you are keen for a swim during the cooler months, consider heading to an open public pool where lifeguards can keep an eye on you.”
For a list of LSV endorsed pools and for more information on how to stay safe in all aquatic environments go to lsv.com.au.