Rotary Club of Ballarat

It's All About "Water Safety" Gallery

Last Week's Speaker: Past President Mark Scott. - Water Safety


Chairman for the day Colin Mcintosh introduced our member Past President Mark Scott.

Mark is a swimming teacher at Ballarat Aquatic Centre he spoke of water safety and the statistics that occur with drownings. 20/21 summer coastal drowning deaths there has been 49 people to date.

The highest  number of drowning deaths were related to swimming and wading but there has been a significant increase in drowning deaths of rock fishers and bystanders attempting to rescue someone else.

Rip currents were a dominant factor for all 100% fatal summer bystander rescues and 51% of summer swimming and wading drowning deaths. Last year 2019/2020 - 248 people drowned there was a further 502 water incidents and recues. 750 in total.

Mark talked about "Rips" What a Rip is: When you swim at the beach we should always swim between the flags, but generally after a period of time we finish up outside the flags or we have moved up and down the beach the water - if we have experienced this we have experienced a small rip.

When you get caught in a Rip we panic and fight the water. You should lie on your back arms and legs apart and float. (Make a star shape) Do not panic take deep breaths and do not fight the water. People drown because they panic, fathers, uncles brothers all think they can help a child, but the child knows what to do through the learn to swim program. Many trying to save people cannot swim themselves and overestimate their ability and the depth of water as a result they drown.

The Rip will take you out generally to the first line of breakers then spit you out sideways if you have floated on your back you have conserved energy you can then swim sideways away from the rip and catch a wave in.

Ballarat residents are not immune to water incidents. People over 45 years drown in the bath and unexpected entry are the main causes of drowning. - incidents also of children drowning in the bath.


Mark gave the following safety tips: 

Ã�·                     Swim between the flags.

Ã�·                     Always supervise children in and around water at all times. For young children stay within arm's length in the water. Supervise backyard pools.

Ã�·                     Wear a life jacket if rock fishing or boating.

Ã�·                     Avoid alcohol and drugs while undertaking water activities.

Ã�·                     If something goes wrong call 000 and yell to get for help from others and attract attention.

Ã�·                     If someone falls into the water  look for something you can use to reach them or if you have to go into the water something that floats a boogie board, lifejacket an eksy lid, flotation toy this will assist you to stay afloat with them.

Chairman Colin thanked Mark for a very informative address and as we always say it is our members who give many of the best addresses.