Men urged to curb risky water action

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Liam BeattyGeraldton Guardian
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In the past decade, 79 per cent of drownings were men and 45 per cent occurred during the summer months.
Camera IconIn the past decade, 79 per cent of drownings were men and 45 per cent occurred during the summer months. Credit: Getty Images, Piranka

A Geraldton lifesaver and a marine rescue volunteer have backed calls for men to take more care around water.

As Australia Day approaches, the Royal Life Saving Australia has warned there are far too many avoidable drowning deaths.

Men are disproportionally represented in these statistics.

In the past decade, 79 per cent of drownings were men and 45 per cent occurred during the summer months.

Royal Life Saving WA’s Lauren Nimmo said risk-taking behaviour often occurred in social situations.

“In the moments of truth when they are getting into danger, we know it’s their mates who have the best chance of getting through to them,” she said.

This is why the society has launched a new campaign urging men to make the right call this summer. Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue Group commander Jamie Jones has warned men not to forget accidents happen and to look after each other.

“It is nearly impossible to find you in the event of an emergency if ... no one knows where you are,” he said.

“It is vital to tell someone that understands where you are going and when you will be back.”

More than 2000 men drowned across Australia in the past decade and many of these were the result of risk-taking behaviour and alcohol consumption, according to the campaign.

Champion Bay Surf Life Saving Club president Peter Nelson said he agreed with the message.

“While the conditions in Geraldton are usually reasonable, you’re better off taking inexperienced swimmers to calmer, safer locations,” he said.

For this, he recommends Champion Bay beach because of its calm waters and popularity, which he said meant you were likely to be seen if you got in trouble.

“Be safe. Don’t take the risk, take a little time to assess the conditions and don’t swim alone,” he said.

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