Victorians are being reminded to stay safe around the water as the weather warms up, with this weekend (27-28 November) officially marking the start of an extended lifesaving patrol season around the State.
Minister for Emergency Services, Jaclyn Symes joined volunteers with Life Saving Victoria (LSV) to remind people who were planning to hit the beach this summer to swim at patrolled locations and between the red and yellow flags.
“This weekend marks the official start of the annual patrol season for thousands of lifesavers and lifeguards, who will run full patrol services at bay and coastal lifesaving clubs around the State until after Easter 2022,” Ms Symes said.
“Last summer, Victorian volunteer lifesavers and lifeguards performed 612 rescues and undertook 233,700 preventative actions to keep an estimated 3.8 million visitors to our beaches safe,” she said.
“This is the second time LSV has provided an extended lifesaving season, after last year’s season was extended for a similar period following the busiest patrol season on record and an increase in drownings.”
The Minister said that last year tragically saw Victoria record its highest deadly drowning toll in more than 20 years, with 61 people losing their lives.
“People will undoubtedly be keen to visit our beautiful beaches this summer, however, it’s important that they be careful around the water,” she said.
“Our lifesavers and lifeguards will be on our beaches for longer to make sure Victorians are safe – but everyone can do their part to reduce the risk by only swimming between the flags at patrolled areas,” Ms Symes said.