READY FOR LAUNCH: Rescue helicopter crewman Corey Jones shows Hudson Timms, 7, and Aaron Langford, 11, around the chopper at the launch of Surf Life Saving Queensland's Watersafe Week initiative at Somerset Dam.
READY FOR LAUNCH: Rescue helicopter crewman Corey Jones shows Hudson Timms, 7, and Aaron Langford, 11, around the chopper at the launch of Surf Life Saving Queensland's Watersafe Week initiative at Somerset Dam. Melanie Keyte

Lifesavers teach Somerset a dam good lesson

IT'S a simple mistake, but complacency in the water cost 22 Queenslanders their lives last year.

Though normally spotted on the beach, Surf Life Saving Queensland moved inland this week in an effort to bring down the number of inland waterway drownings.

Surf Lifesavers visited Somerset Dam for the first time on Monday to launch Watersafe Week and demonstrated CPR, water rescues and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter.

 

Rescue helicopter crewman Corey Jones said over-confidence was their biggest concern, especially when alcohol was involved.

"(Visitors) are generally unaware there can be dangers when you go to the dam, even though it's quieter," he said.

"People tend to think, because it's flat water, they can say 'She'll be right' and don't have to be cautious," added lifeguard Alex Langenberg.

Seqwater ranger Craig Hine said they would be patrolling lakes Somerset and Wivenhoe from Boxing Day until New Year's Day.

"It's about watching out for each other ... and it's not about 'it won't happen to me' because it can happen to anyone," Mr Hine said.

"We find (people using) canoes and kayaks have a false sense of security with the flat water and they often don't realise how quickly the weather can change."

Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the region's lakeside parks would soon be full and urged holidaymakers to stay safe.

"We want to see everybody again in the New Year," he said.

BE DAM SAFE

- Swim clear of motorised water vessels

- Beware submerged objects, sudden drop-offs and enter feet first

- Avoid swimming alone and intoxicated

- Always wear a life jacket when using water craft

- Supervise friends, family and especially children


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