BOATING and fishing are popular recreational activities but the latest drowning figures show during the past ten years 88 people have lost their lives while boating or fishing in WA with people over the age of 45 years at the greatest risk.
During the Easter long weekend, Royal Life Saving is urging boaters and fishers to make the right call when it comes to safety.
Royal Life Saving senior manager Lauren Nimmo said the Easter long weekend was a popular time for people to take out their boats or go to their favourite fishing spot, but it was not a time to be complacent when it came to safety.
“While many Aussies have spent a lifetime around the water and no doubt have their own safety tips and tricks, it is important to remember that serious injuries can happen in the water, sometimes when you least expect it,’’ she said.
Men are particularly at risk of drowning and on average they account for 80 per cent of drowning deaths across Australia each year.
A recent report revealed that more than two thirds of people involved in a boating-related drowning were not wearing a lifejacket at the time.
“It is concerning that despite continued education, many people are failing to take their safety seriously when out boating by not wearing a lifejacket.
“Lifejackets are the most important piece of safety equipment when boating or fishing and while it’s great to have them on your boat in case of an emergency, if you are not wearing one, it cannot save your life.
“With the recent rock fishing incidents on the south coast, people should consider wearing a lifejacket when fishing from the rocks.”
Royal Life Saving WA continues to run the Old4New lifejacket campaign to give boaters the opportunity to upgrade their old, damaged or obsolete lifejackets to new slim line inflatable lifejackets at a discounted price.
“Lifejackets aren’t what they used to be.
“The uncomfortable bulkiness of lifejackets is out the window and by making these new slimline inflatable jackets more accessible, we are hoping that more boaters will wear their lifejacket when out on the water.”
Make the right call key safety tips:
- Know the conditions – make sure you regularly check local weather and water conditions 2. Know your limits – alcohol and water don’t mix – if you’re taking medication, check with your doctor before jumping in
- Know your gear – wear a lifejacket and take a mate
- know what to do – learn lifesaving skills.
Make the right call is delivered in partnership with the WA Department of Health.