Know the five for water safety

Transport Safety Victoria [TSV] is reminding boaters and paddlers, including those in Sunbury and Macedon Ranges, to ‘know the five’ when they are planning to head out on the water this summer.

TSV maritime safety director Shaun Rodenburg said “We urge boaters to check that everything is operating as it should be, and to make sure their safety gear is up to scratch before hitting the water.”

Mr Rodenburg said everyone heading to Victoria’s waterways should follow five top tips to Prepare to Survive:

* Know the weather;

* Practise getting back on;

* Carry a distress beacon;

* Lock in a buddy plan; and

* Wear a lifejacket.

Mr Rodenburg said that it’s particularly important to practise getting back on your vessel.

“Boaters and paddlers usually remember to check the weather and wear a lifejacket, but many injuries and – sadly – fatalities, result when they go out alone, can’t get back on and are unable to raise the alarm,” he said.

Whether you’re on coastal or inland waters, it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected and always plan ahead.

Coastal water conditions can change quickly with the weather and currents, and it’s important to practise caution, particularly around bars.

While there may be a perception that inland waters tend to be safer, it is especially crucial to be aware of flowing water – which usually occurs after periods of rain.

Not only is the current strong but moving rapids can hide snags and other hazards.