Play by the Water but Keep It Safe, Urges Minister

31 December 2014

Victorians are being urged to remain vigilant near water as holidaymakers flood to the state’s beaches, waterways and pools to take advantage of the forecast hot weather.

With Friday and Saturday in particular tipped to hit the mid to high 30s, Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett, has warned parents that children need to be constantly supervised around water.

It takes only 20 seconds for a toddler to drown.

Men are also being asked to heed water safety warnings, especially the dangers of drinking alcohol in or around water.

Men are consistently overrepresented in drowning statistics. Of the 47 drownings in Victoria in 2013/14, 79 per cent were male.

Ms Garrett praised Victoria’s lifesavers but warned they could not be everywhere and swimmers needed to take responsibility for their own safety.

Across Australia, the largest number of drownings occur in summer.

The Play it Safe by the Water advertising campaign runs across Victoria until March 2015 to remind people how important it is to be safe around water.

For more information visit

Quotes attributable to Minister Jane Garrett

“Victorians have a great tradition of enjoying the water, but this comes with risks.”

“Every drowning is one too many. For parents, constant supervision of young children is crucial.”

“Lifesavers do a fantastic job keeping Victorian beaches safe over the warmer months, but they cannot be everywhere.’’

“Conditions on the water change quickly. Be aware of fast flowing water and strong currents.”

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Reviewed 19 August 2020

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