• Hannah Phillips

Be Water Safe, Not Sorry


As school holidays are well and truly underway, Member for Albury Greg Aplin has welcomed the launch of the NSW State Government’s advertising campaign – Be Water Safe, Not Sorry – aimed at increasing water safety awareness and deterring risky behaviour that could lead to drowning.


The campaign kicked off in Mid-December and will run throughout summer in print, radio and social media.

Mr Aplin encouraged the community to adhere to the Government’s warning and to stay safe.

“Tragically last summer 41 people lost their lives in NSW waterways, including 17 over the nine days between Christmas and 2 January 2017."

Member for Wagga Wagga, Daryl Maguire MP also commented, saying: “We want locals and visitors to enjoy beaches, rivers, lakes and pools this summer but also urge the community to look out for one another to avoid tragedy during the festive season.”

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant urged people to do their part to ensure families and friends aren’t devastated by the loss of a loved one as a result of drowning.

“Last summer’s news headlines were marred with water accidents and I call on everyone to act responsibly and remain vigilant. Together let’s make this summer a safe one.

“I want everyone to take home a very simple message – where there is water, there is danger,” Mr Grant said.

The advertising campaign aims to educate people of the very real risks associated with water, and what they can do to ensure they stay safe, including:

  • Always supervise small children in or near water – don’t get distracted by your phone, people at your door, or attending to other children;

  • Stay sober – don’t drink or take drugs and then go swimming or participate in a water-based activity;

  • Swim at patrolled beaches, where possible – no flags means no lifesavers, so don’t overestimate your swimming ability.

The campaign is based on the findings of a report commissioned by the NSW Government from Royal Life Saving NSW which found that beaches and swimming pools were the leading locations for drowning, accounting for nearly 25% of fatalities each.

A further 34% drowned in inland waterways like rivers, creeks, streams, dams and lakes.

The report also found that 78% of those who lost their life to drowning were men, with young males aged 25-34 years the most at risk.

The vast majority of those who drowned were not international or interstate visitors, which is a common misconception.

More than 70% of victims lived within 100km from where they drowned and over 50% were from Sydney. Only one overseas visitor lost their life to drowning last summer in NSW.

The Be Water Safe, Not Sorry campaign will be rolled out across print, radio, social media and Spotify, focusing on the most common locations and behaviours that lead to drowning.

For more information on the NSW Government’s Be Water Safe, Not Sorry campaign, visit watersafety.nsw.gov.au.

The Royal Life Saving Summer Drowning Report for 2016-17 can also be found online.