WATER SAFETY: Learning to be lifesavers at Milne Bay Aquatic Centre are (from left) Jack and Mason Collins with Royal Life Saving Society of Australia national education and training adviser Shayne Baker.
WATER SAFETY: Learning to be lifesavers at Milne Bay Aquatic Centre are (from left) Jack and Mason Collins with Royal Life Saving Society of Australia national education and training adviser Shayne Baker. Nev Madsen

Little lifeguards jump into water education in Darling Downs

THE Downs Little Lifeguards program celebrated the launch of its fifth year this morning, as summer drowning deaths spike across the nation.

Seventy-two drownings have been recorded across Australia this summer season, 26 more than the same period last year, and the Toowoomba-based program aims to combat the rising statistics.

The program consists of two water safety training days for children; one at a dam on February 24, and one at the beach on March 10.

Royal Life Saving Society of Australia nation education and training advisor Shayne Baker said families often overlooked risk factors in their haste to get in the water.

"What we are seeing is people totally underestimating the environment," Mr Baker said.

"Water is not a benign environment, it is an environment that is forever changing; depth, temperatures, currents - and people underestimate their points of safety.

"You can drown in less than 45 seconds. "

The program is run by the Royal Lifesaving Society in conjunction with Toowoomba Regional council aquatic staff members.

Those interested in the program can find more information on the tr.qld.gov.au website.



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