Police issue warnings to swimmers heading to Queensland dams

QUEENSLAND police are urging people to stay safe this summer when enjoying the many regional dams across the state.

The "be DAM smart" initiative was launched on Wednesday (Nov 27) in conjunction with Seqwater, which operates 26 dams and 50 weirs across south-east Queensland.

Seqwater chief executive officer Terri Benson said Seqwater was expecting bumper crowds over the summer and holiday season.

"Based on (the) previous year's figures, we can expect to see more than 150,000 visitors to our dams and recreation facilities over the Christmas and New Year period," she said.

"This campaign's slogan of 'be DAM smart' is designed to educate people to rethink their behaviour both on and around our dams to provide a safe environment for everyone."

Ipswich District Country Patrol Group inspector Charysse Pond said police would be regularly patrolling Seqwater facilities over the summer and targeting anti-social behaviour across all recreational areas.

"This is not about stopping people enjoying themselves and having fun, it is about ensuring people act responsibly and consider the safety and comfort of others," she said.

Water safety advocate Katherine Plint of Hannah's Foundation also urged Queenslanders to remain safe in and around water over the holiday season.

"Parents need to be extra vigilant. All adults need to take extra responsibility to ensure children remain safe around water," she said.

"Just because you think you can swim does not mean you cannot drown.

"We do not want this summer to be a tragic one."

Mrs Plint said all water users should wear a lifejacket while in and around water this summer irrespective of their age.

"If you cannot see the bottom of the water when you are boating, swimming, fishing or kayaking then you must wear a lifejacket," she said.

"If for some reason you were to fall into the water, or if you got into difficulty, a lifejacket would keep your head above the water."

Last year, 84 people drowned at inland or ocean waterways across the state.



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