Increased visitors at Dams place safety behaviour in focus

10 May 2011

Community safety around SunWater dams has been in focus this week as more and more people have been visiting these locations to take advantage of recent good weather.

However, reports from local dam and weir operators have reported an increase in inappropriate behaviour as well as reckless and dangerous actions by some visitors.

Instances such as refusing to adhere to safety rules and not following police directions have been reported.

SunWater General Manager Safety, Strategy and Risk, Tom Vanderbyl said with most dams at 100% capacity, personal safety must be on the forefront of everyone’s minds.

“The wet weather has certainly boosted dam levels in recent months,” said Mr. Vanderbyl.

“SunWater understands that the full dams and weirs are attractive destinations for visitors, but points out that all lakes and waterways must be approached with caution and awareness of potential risks."

Mr. Vanderbyl said he was reminding visitors not to become complacent and disregard risks such as submerged stumps and rocks near the shoreline.

“Whether a dam is full, half full or empty, submerged hazards such as stumps and rocks are still present and can injure water skiers, boaties or swimmers.

All we ask is that people are careful when visiting dam and weir lakes and waterways to ensure their holiday does not end in an injury, or worse, a tragedy.”

Mr. Vanderbyl said it only took general common sense to play it safe whilst near, in or on the water.

“Safety signs and rules are there for a reason and must be followed at all times.”

For example, boaties need to ensure that they heed signage, keep well clear of swimmers, only tow skiers in deeper areas of the lake and never venture too close to dam and weir walls.  

Mr Vanderbyl said people could log on to www.sunwater.com.au or call 131589 for more information on water safety.

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SunWater Media Team
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