Inland Water Safety
“Look before you leap”
- Never swim in fast-flowing water. Check the speed first by throwing in a twig to see how fast it travels.
- If you are caught in a current, float on your back and travel downstream, feet first, to protect your head from impact with any objects.
- Beware of submerged objects. Trees, branches, rocks and discarded rubbish can be very dangerous.
- Be careful not to stand near the edge of overhanging river banks, which can crumble away.
- Conditions can change rapidly due to heavy rainfall or the release of water from storage areas. Remember that what is safe in the morning can
be dangerous by the afternoon.
- Watch out for soft or uneven river beds, which can cause difficulties for waders or swimmers.
- Lakes may look calm but are often very dangerous. Strong winds can create choppy conditions making it dangerous for swimming and boating.
- Strong currents are likely wherever a river enters a lake, and the lake bed may be soft and uneven where silt has been deposited.
- Cold water in lakes can be lethal. It is often much colder beneath the surface than you think. Suddenly submerging into cold water can cause distress, shock and lack of mobility. If you feel cold, get out of the water immediately.
- Never dive into a dam
- Be aware that dam levels may change
- Beware of submerged objects that may be hidden from view
- After heavy rains, or after a period of drought, small children may not be aware that water levels have changed.