Water vigilance reminder over summer

NORTHERN Tasmanian holiday makers have been warned to keep a sharp eye on water safety this summer.

The North's well-attended beaches, rivers and even dams all have dangerous elements that must be respected for safety, according to Launceston Swim School owner-instructor Lindy Crack.

Mrs Crack said she had her share of waterside scares while her children were young and encouraged awareness this summer.

``Parents need to supervise their children around the water at all times,'' Mrs Crack said.

``My son nearly drowned twice when he was 18 months old, he could have been a statistic but we were there to supervise.''

She said parents should always be vigilant, even in areas where lifeguards were present.

``What we try to do is teach children about the dangers of water, but also how to enjoy a water environment,'' Mrs Crack said.

She said one of her past students was able to survive in a high-risk drowning incident by following one of the safety mantras.

``At the time she was four years old . . . she rode her bike off a jetty and into the Tamar River,'' Mrs Crack said.

``By remembering what we taught her; to turn around and swim back where she came from, she was able to make it back to shore.

``She's 12 now instead of a statistic.''

Launceston Swim School runs swimming education classes for all ages. For details go to www.launcestonswimschool.com.au

 Deloraine Rotary Club's Learn to Swim program will have a registration day at Deloraine pool from 10am to 4pm, Thursday, January 2. For details contact Gayle Gerrard on 6362 3035.


Summer swimming safety tips:

 Don't swim alone.

 Obey all rules.

 Never jump or dive into unknown waters.

 Be wary of steep drop-offs at the beach.

 Don't panic.

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