Floodwaters A Drowning Threat

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8th February 2010, 02:06pm - Views: 743
Floodwaters a Drowning Threat

For Immediate Release

8 February 2009

With large parts of NSW seeing heavy rain in the last 48 hours and more expected, Royal Life Saving is urging caution around all waterways to prevent drowning tragedies from occurring.

"Whilst the heavy deluge brings long overdue rain to farmers in drought stricken parts of the State, it can also present a very real drowning threat to people," said David Macallister, CEO Royal Life Saving NSW.

Sydney was hard-hit by the weekend storms, with the northern suburbs, including St Ives and Gordon, recording 198mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on Sunday. From the heavy deluge we have seen localised flooding, water across roads and new water sources emerging which all pose a potential drowning threat.

Six people in Sydney's north had to be rescued after being trapped in submerged cars on the weekend. "People driving through flood waters must take care with the changed conditions of the road, now presenting drowning hazards. You may think it is ok and want to save time by driving over a flooded road or causeway but you run the risk of being trapped in rising waters or swept away in your car," added Mr. Macallister.

The recent heavy rains also pose a threat to children. "Young children are inquisitive and love to go out and play when it is raining. However, puddles of water can quickly change into fast flowing water and before you know it a young child can be swept away," said Mr. Macallister. Parents and carers must constantly supervise children whenever there is water around, this includes post holes filled with water and newly flooded irrigation channels, creeks, drains and inflatable paddle pools.

Royal Life Saving recommends the following when driving in areas with water over the road:

* Avoid roads prone to flooding.
* Be mindful of flood warning signs and flood level indicators
* Where there is water across the road, check the level and speed of the water before entry. Also check that the road has not been washed away.
* Crossing flooded bridges and causeways is dangerous and should not be attempted.
* Check with Police and Emergency services about road conditions before you set out.
* Listen to the local radio station for reports about localised flooding.

Media Contact:
Caitlin Vasica, Royal Life Saving NSW
Ph (02) 9634 3700

SOURCE: Royal Life Saving Society - Australia (NSW)

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