Queenslanders are being reminded to play it safe while enjoying regional waterways during the holidays.
The warning comes ahead of an expected busy summer season, with thousands of holidaymakers eager to make the most of dams, lakes and weirs.
Sunwater Executive General Manager Operations Colin Bendall encouraged both locals and visitors to keep safety front-of-mind while having fun at a waterway.
“After a couple of good wet seasons, water levels remain high at many storages in regional Queensland, which is good news for people wanting to enjoy holiday activities such as swimming, boating and fishing,” he said.
“While water conditions are favourable, underwater hazards and rapidly changing conditions may present a serious safety risk.
“We want everyone to have a good time on our waterways, but it is important to enjoy the water safely.”
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast hot and drier conditions for the 2023-24 summer, and bushfires have already caused significant damage at several locations in the state.
“We urge people to monitor fire conditions before travelling to waterways and keep an eye out for updates from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services about what is happening,” Mr Bendall said.
He also asked people visiting Sunwater sites to pay attention to the areas they are accessing and make sure they are not going into prohibited locations.
“Some spots might look very inviting, but there are considerable safety risks associated with trespassing into restricted areas,” he said.
“There have been instances of members of the public accessing restricted Sunwater property including weirs, water channels, dam walls, outlets, private land and lake exclusion zones which can be extremely dangerous.”
People have also accessed waterways for recreation outside of daylight hours which is unsafe as visibility is low.
“Trespassing can lead to devastating consequences. We ask people to read the signs and if they’re in doubt about accessing a location, get in touch with Sunwater before making any decisions,” Mr Bendall said.
Boat users should obey speed limits, signs and understand the risks of operating their vessel. Those intending to tow water skiers should check that the water is deep enough and free from floating or underwater hazards.
Swimmers should be aware of their abilities as strong currents and undertows can be present.
Queenslanders can check local dam levels, safety alerts and key information about recreational areas via the Sunwater App, Facebook and the Sunwater website – www.sunwater.com.au
Boat skippers should check signs, monitor conditions, and visit the Maritime Safety Queensland website for the latest speed restrictions on inland waterways before entering the water.