Be safe in and around water | Senior Lifestyle E-Edition

Safe water skills for seniors....

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REDLANDS seniors are being urged to learn vital water safety skills to protect themselves in both boating and swimming situations.

According to the 2020 Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report, 240 people had drowned in Australian waterways over 2019/20 and those aged 65-74 were in the top three drowning age groups with 14 per cent of the total drowns.

This is a 5 per cent increase in this age group from the following year, when total drownings had in fact decreased overall.

Of these, 25 per cent were from swimming incidents and a whopping 18 per cent from boating related incidents, one of the leading causes in this age group.

The Redlands Coast is home to a lot of older aged boaters.

Raby bay Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) unit resource controller Chris Joy said seniors were encouraged to check in before heading out on the bay.

VMR is crewed by volunteers every weekend and public holidays, and encourages senior boaters as well as all boaters to log on with its Cleveland/Raby Bay boat ramp base before leaving the shore.

"There are several ways to do this. Via telephone or channel where you leave your details or there is a steel box at the boat ramp with a button to press and leave your details.

"If you're not back by your planned time, we'll follow it up. It pays to have a VMR membership."

Chris said this will ensure that somebody knows when they've left, where they are going, and when they are due back.

Cleveland ramp has two floating pontoons with very little water current which Chris said was easier for older boaters to manage.

His advice to seniors is to ensure they always have fresh cold water and ice, a navigation map and that their safety equipment such as life jackets, flares and bailing buckets are maintained and up to date.