Christmas and New Year may be behind us but the summer holiday period is in full swing with many people visiting the region’s lakes, dams and reservoirs.
Significant rain last year has ensured storages are in good shape and that’s great news not just for farmers, but also for people enjoying their summer holidays.
Goulburn-Murray Water is reminding holiday-makers to make smart choices on and around water, and its Water Smarts campaign highlights the seven most common risks and hazards when boating and swimming at G-MW’s water storages.
■Be throttle smart: Stick to a safe speed.
■Be jacket smart: Wear your lifejacket.
■Be mate smart: Always take a mate.
■Be conditions smart: Check the weather and water levels.
■Be alcohol smart: Don’t drink on the water.
■Be hazards smart: Be aware of submerged rocks, sandbars, trees, shallow water and debris.
■Be dive smart: Never jump from dam walls or ledges.
G-MW general manager of customer operations Scott Barber said there were rules to increase safety on the water.
‘‘On inland Victorian waters a five-knot speed limit applies at any water level within 50m (except where otherwise indicated) of the water’s edge, other vessels, people in the water, fixed or floating structures and other water users,’’ Mr Barber said.
‘‘Any temporary speed restrictions are signposted at public boat ramps. At all other times you should travel at a safe speed for the water level and conditions.
‘‘People also need to be aware of NSW water rules while enjoying the Murray River. Even if you are from Victoria and have a Victorian boat licence, NSW rules apply to activities on the Murray River.’’
Maritime Safety Victoria’s Gareth Johnson said before setting out, make sure you tell friends and family where you are going, when you expect to return to shore and what to do if you don’t.
‘‘Before you head out on the water work out how you can raise an alarm if it becomes necessary,’’ Mr Johnson said.
■For more information on G-MW’s Water Smarts campaign, or information guides to G-MW’s recreational water storages and facilities, visit: www.gmwater.com.au/recreation-tourism
■For more information on boating safety in Victoria go to: www.transportsafety.vic.gov.au