Don't drink and swim this Australia Day long weekend

Friday, 22 January 2021

SLSQ’s Lifesaving Services Manager Peta Lawlor said this rule applied to people of all ages and swimming capabilities.  

“Alcohol impairs your judgement, slows your reaction time and reduces your co-ordination when in the water,” she said.

“It does not matter how young, fit or good you are at swimming, the ocean does not discriminate and you will be tested.”  

Surf Life Saving Australia’s Coastal Safety Brief – Alcohol and Drugs revealed 61 people who had alcohol or drugs in their system drowned on Queensland beaches between 2004 – 2020. Most of the deaths were males between the age of 25-39 years old.  

“We have seen people tragically lose their lives and leave behind devastated families,” Lawlor said.  

“That is why we are pleading with people to not swim in the ocean after drinking alcohol and especially do not go for a night dip.

“If you’ve had a drink, do not enter the water.”  

Lawlor also encouraged anyone intending to visit the beach this Australia Day to head to a patrolled beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.  

“These school holidays SLSQ services have rescued 1,133 people on Queensland beaches,” she said.

“Alarmingly, more than 90% of those people were rescued swimming outside of the red and yellow flags.  

“Please help our lifesavers and lifeguards by swimming at a patrolled beach and between the flags because if they can’t see you, they can’t save you.”  


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