4 places where you should not swim this summer

WE'VE shared this list with you before.

But with a spate of drownings and near-drownings in recent weeks, and with another heatwave upon us, we thought it was timely to share this information again.

Yes it's hot and many people will be grabbing their swimsuits in towels and heading for a swim in order to beat the heat.

However, there are some places that are not recommended for a summer splash.

 

Bexhill Quarry in 2010 showing the break in the fence, used to gain entry to the water.
Photo The Northern Star Archives
Bexhill Quarry in 2010 showing the break in the fence, used to gain entry to the water. Photo The Northern Star Archives The Northern Star Archives

Bexhill Quarry

The cobalt blue water and cliff face makes the swimming hole at the former Bexhill Brickworks look very appealing, which is probably why people regularly ignore the 'no swimming' sign - and pull away the fence to gain access.

But chemical analysis of the water by Southern Cross University revealed swimmers are putting themselves at peril.

In 2002 tests revealed the water's pH level was almost as acidic as vinegar, with aluminium levels 2500 times greater than the Australian guidelines.

Then in 2010 tests revealed the levels had dropped from the previous results, but were still very high - the water then recorded a pH level of 3.98, well below National Health and Medical Research Council recreational guidelines of between 6.5 and 8.5, meaning it was highly acidic.

Tests undertaken again in 2014 found that the pH levels at 3.83, and the aluminium levels at 1.052mg per litre since 2002 - still considerably higher than the Australian standard of 0.200mg of aluminium per litre.

Now Crown land, the NSW Department of Lands and Lismore City Council have always warned locals against swimming in the waterhole, but that doesn't stop everyone.

 

POLICE at the scene of an accident involving a swimmer at Dalwood Falls, Alstonville.

Photo Rodney Stevens / The Northern Star
POLICE at the scene of an accident involving a swimmer at Dalwood Falls, Alstonville. Photo Rodney Stevens / The Northern Star Rebecca Lolback

Dalwood Falls

In January 2014, a 31-year-old Queensland man died when he jumped from a tree above the swimming hole.

It was the second fatality at the site after another man had died over 20 years ago.

Emergency Services and Police told Ballina Shire Council there had been several potentially serious spinal injuries over the years.

Council acted following the 2014 death, and signage and fencing now exists at the formerly popular waterfalls, warning people not to swim there.

Rileys Hill Quarry

In November 2015 the popular swimming hole near Broadwater was fenced off to the public after the Department of Primary Industries deemed it unsafe.

 

Police divers make their way to the waterhole at Hanging Rock Falls at Wadeville near Kyogle where a fourteen year old QLD boy failed to resurface during an end of season football outing. The boy's body was recovered later that morning. 31st October 2010. CATHY ADAMS/ THE NORTHERN STAR
Police divers make their way to the waterhole at Hanging Rock Falls at Wadeville near Kyogle where a fourteen year old QLD boy failed to resurface during an end of season football outing. The boy's body was recovered later that morning. 31st October 2010. CATHY ADAMS/ THE NORTHERN STAR CATHY ADAMS

Hanging Rock Falls

In January 2015, a 19-year-old Illawarra man drowned while swimming at Hanging Rock Falls near Nimbin.

A 14-year-old boy died at the same waterhole in 2010.

Additional signs warning visitors of the dangers of swimming at Hanging Rock Falls were installed after the 2015 incident.

Police warning on unofficial swimming spots

Police have always warned people off swimming at popular waterholes around the region, after a number of deaths, and many non-fatal incidents they've had to attend to.

In November 2015, Lismore police inspector Nicole Bruce said people need to be conscious of the dangers associated with swimming in waterholes.

Insp Bruce said officers had attended a number of fatalities at several waterholes around the region in recent years.

"Waterholes are highly dangerous areas to be swimming in," she said.

"You don't know what's underneath the surface of the water and the conditions change constantly.

"Waterholes are often in an isolated area and if anyone gets into trouble help is often a great distance away."



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