Maitland City Council will run two water safety demonstrations later this month, following a tragic summer in pools and waterways across Australia.
The free demonstrations at Maitland Pool will feature the latest information about safe swimming, resuscitation techniques and compliance issues.
Accredited AustSwim instructors will run the demonstrations.
Last year, 280 people drowned in Australia – 13 more than in 2015.
Of those deaths, 96 occurred in waterways across the state.
Over the recent Christmas and New Year period, there were 19 drowning deaths across NSW.
“In addition to the many people who lost their lives in 2016, we’ve also had a staggering number of near drownings and drownings since Christmas,” council’s Community and Recreation Services manager Lynn Morton said.
“Being able to swim is a very important life skill and in conjunction with supervision, pool fencing, and resuscitation, saves lives.
“These demonstrations seek to ensure that all residents have the opportunity to access water safety programs which are aimed at reducing the risk of drowning through some simple water safety measures.”
The Mayor of Maitland, Cr Peter Blackmore, said water safety was a widespread problem and councils should take the lead in community education.
“This has been such a big issue recently that I thought it was something we really needed to do,” Cr Blackmore said.
“Some of the things people will learn there are just basic water safety survival skills that everyone should know.
“I want to urge everyone to come along.”
The demonstrations will take place between 10am and 11am on Tuesday, January 24, and Saturday, January 28.
Anyone who is interested or wants more information about the demonstrations can contact Maitland City Council on 4934 9700.