Lifestyle

Drownings prompt safety plea

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January 05, 2018

Beachgoers are being urged to be careful in the water following four drowning deaths in Victoria in just two weeks.

Beachgoers are being urged to be careful in the water following four drowning deaths in Victoria in just two weeks.

The most recent death occurred at a Rye beach on Wednesday when a man was found face down in the water shortly after 2pm and could not be revived.

As parts of the state are set to soar above 40°C tomorrow, Live Saving Victoria is urging swimmers to stay safe around water.

‘‘Victoria has the best waterways in the country, so, by all means, get outdoors and experience them,’’ Life Saving operations manager Greg Scott said.

‘‘But we want everyone to come home safely from a day at the beach, river or by the pool, so take extra caution given the forecast conditions.’’

On Monday, Paul Baker, 46, drowned at Woolamai Beach on Phillip Island after he appeared to get caught in a rip.

Mr Baker’s death was the second at Woolamai Beach in a week after Hemant Govekar, 28, disappeared in the water off Cape Woolamai on Christmas Day.

A Sydenham man, 41, died at a Skenes Creek beach on the Great Ocean Rd on December 21 while trying to rescue his two children.

Life Saving Victoria said rips remained the ‘‘number one beach hazard’’ for swimmers.

‘‘More people drown in rips than from shark attacks, cyclones and floods combined,’’ Mr Scott said.

He also said 75 per cent of people could not identify a rip, while two thirds of those who thought they could spot a rip actually could not.

If you are caught in a rip current, Life Saving Victoria recommends either calling out for help, floating with the current, or swimming parallel to the beach.

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