Letters to the editor

LETTERS: Send letters to the editor to billie.harrison@fairfaxmedia.com.au.
LETTERS: Send letters to the editor to billie.harrison@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

Cooler weather no reason to forget water safety

While daylight savings has ended and temperatures are starting to drop, it’s important for the South Australian community to remain vigilant about water safety. While we see less swimming as the weather cools down, surfing, fishing, boating and paddle sports like kayaking continue all year.

Last year 116 people drowned across Australia’s coastal areas, including 10 people who tragically lost their lives in South Australia. Many of these deaths could have been prevented.

Almost two-thirds of drowning deaths around the country happen outside of summer. More than a third of all drowning deaths also happen while people are boating or operating a watercraft and the main group of concern is adult men. 

Men account for 83 per cent of coastal drowning deaths and they are rescued twice as often as women.

While medical conditions and rips are the biggest contributing factors, alcohol consumption is the third highest contributor.

While it sounds obvious to say that mixing alcohol and water activities is a bad idea, it keeps happening. A focus needs to be put on the dangers of drinking and water activities to better educate the community.

Interestingly research also demonstrates that over confidence is a major issue with many people over estimating their swimming abilities. 

In reality, 55 per cent of adults are unable to swim more than 50m without stopping and one in four Australians is unable to float for more than 10 minutes.

It’s important that people who are not strong swimmers, do not put themselves out of their comfort zone even in seemingly calm conditions.

It’s also important for people to take as many precautions as possible, such as checking weather conditions, carrying a charged mobile phone, downloading the Beachsafe app and wearing a lifejacket.

All drownings are considered preventable so being prepared and alert is the best way to prevent tragedies.

Don’t let complacency about water safety set in with the cooler weather. 

CONNY WILSON

Lifesaving World Championships event director

The spirit of the Anzacs lives on

Where can young people find their place in the Anzac tradition?

While it may be harder for young people to relate to the individual experience of the veterans and to know their names and battles they fought, every Australian can embody the qualities of the Anzac spirit.

Courage, loyalty, compassion, mateship, endurance – the Anzac spirit is something that lives on long after the battles are fought.

Whether it is helping communities after a natural disaster, supporting people at risk of homelessness, or providing a hand up to those affected by a family tragedy -  every Australian, young or old, can uphold the spirit of the Anzacs.

So let us honour our soldiers in the best way possible by remembering the sacrifices they’ve made and embodying the Anzac spirit in everything that we do.

Let us be a voice for those suffering injustice or hardship.

And let us transform Australia one life at a time, giving hope where it’s needed most.

LIETENANT COLONEL NEIL VENABLES

Secretary of Communications

The Salvation Army

Letters to the editor

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