SLSQ issues a warning about the dangers of drunk swimming ahead of the Australia Day holiday. Volunteer surf life savers Brenden Scoffell and Rizu Sawaki. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
SLSQ issues a warning about the dangers of drunk swimming ahead of the Australia Day holiday. Volunteer surf life savers Brenden Scoffell and Rizu Sawaki. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

Warning issued to beachgoers ahead of long weekend

The message is very simple - don't drink and swim.

Lifesavers are urging beachgoers to avoid diving in this Australia Day long weekend if they've consumed alcohol.

The warning comes after it was revealed 61 people with drugs or alcohol in their system drowned on Queensland beaches between 2004 and 2020.

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Surf Life Saving Queensland's lifesaving services manager Peta Lawlor said the rule applied to people of all ages and swimming capabilities.

"Alcohol impairs your judgment, slows your reaction time and reduces your co-ordination when in the water," she said.

"It does not matter how young, fit or good you are at swimming, the ocean does not discriminate and you will be tested."

Surf Life Saving Australia's Coastal Safety Brief - Alcohol and Drugs also revealed most of the deaths were males between the age of 25-39 years old.

"We have seen people tragically lose their lives and leave behind devastated families," Ms Lawlor said.

"That is why we are pleading with people to not swim in the ocean after drinking alcohol and especially do not go for a night dip.

"If you've had a drink, do not enter the water."

Lifesaver Jayden Morrow in action at Noosa. Photo Lachie Millard
Lifesaver Jayden Morrow in action at Noosa. Photo Lachie Millard

If you are looking forward to taking a dip this Australia Day make sure you head to a patrolled beach and of course, swim between the red and yellow flags.

"These school holidays SLSQ services have rescued 1,133 people on Queensland beaches," she said.

"Alarmingly, more than 90% of those people were rescued swimming outside of the red and yellow flags.

"Please help our lifesavers and lifeguards by swimming at a patrolled beach and between the flags because if they can't see you, they can't save you."


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