In the Water - Water Safety
Many people come to Queensland for the sun, surf and sand or to visit our beautiful rainforests. Taking a swim can be refreshing and invigorating however there are dangers anyone (strong swimmers and not so strong swimmers alike) needs to be aware of...
The Beach. When at the beach, always swim or surf at beaches patrolled by lifeguards or lifesaver. Make sure you always swim between the red and yellow flags (not
outside them). The flags mark where lifesavers and lifeguards are
patrolling the beach and therefore this is the safest place to swim.
Make sure that you supervise children at ALL times. Even if the water
looks relatively calm on the surface, this can be deceptive. Many
Australian surf beaches have rips (strong currents) that can drag you
out to sea before you know it. If you do get caught in a rip, don't panic. Stay calm and float with the current towards the breaking waves, raising your hand. Otherwise you can try to swim across
the current, not against it. If you have any uncertainty about the
beach surf conditions, speak to a lifeguard who'll be able to explain
things to you.
It's not just the surf you need to be wary of. Many sea creatures look
harmless yet have a powerful (and painful) sting or bite, especially
the stingers found in the coastal waters of northern Queensland.
Swimming. Never swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
directly after a meal or in the dark. It's also a good idea to always
swim with others. that way, if anything goes wrong you have a buddy to
look out for you. It's often difficult to gauge exactly what lies
beneath the surface so never jump or dive into shallow water, a
rockpool, creek, river or lake as this can lead to serious spinal
Crocodiles. We're not kidding, many river, freshwater lagoons
and beaches harbour crocodiles, big crocodiles that bite! So it's
important to read and obey all warning signs that relate to crocodiles.
The Sun. Many people visit Queensland because the the sun. But
it can be very strong. We highly recommend that you always wear a
shirt, hat, sunglasses and an SPF+30 sunscreen (which can be bought at
any supermarket, chemist or even service station).