Water safety campaign to target migrants

·1-min read

One in three people who drowned in NSW over the summer were from a multicultural background.

Most were adult men, and the incidents occurred in all environments - beaches, rivers, lakes and pools.

The data has prompted NSW Royal Life Saving to launch a campaign to communicate key water safety messages in three foreign languages, in a bid to reduce the number of people finding themselves in trouble.

"We know that communities are embracing the Australian culture of being in and around water, but some adults come to Australia without the essential knowledge and skills to keep themselves and others safe," RLS NSW chief executive Michael Ilinsky said.

"Some people may never have been in the water before or visited a public swimming pool, some have a fear of water and of drowning."

It isn't just a state issue either, with overseas-born people on average making up one in four drownings across Australia.

Designed with input from people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, the resources developed by RLS NSW will complement physical water safety training they conduct for migrants.

The simple tips include: don't go in the water alone; always wear a life jacket when boating and fishing; don't drink alcohol; and learn swimming and water safety skills.

Available in Arabic, Nepali, Simplified Chinese, and easy English, they are available for download from the RLS NSW website.

Similar initiatives are in place across Australia.