Planning on hitting the water as the weather starts to warm up?
Canberrans are being urged to be vigilant around waterways this summer, with temperatures set to soar into the 30s this week.
The ACT government has warned that lakes, rivers, pools and other waterways can pose dangers and has issued a guide to help locals stay safe this summer.
Planning and Land Management Minister Mick Gentleman said hazards can catch anyone by surprise.
With temperatures forecast to heat up, he said Canberrans will be looking to head out to the territory's natural waterways.
Locals can expect a spell of hot temperatures topping 30 degrees this week, with a mostly sunny 32 on Tuesday and a partly cloudy 33 on Wednesday.
"It's important for people to understand the unpredictable nature of our waterways and be prepared in the event something occurs," Mr Gentleman said.
He said whether people were swimming, fishing or boating, they needed to understand that waterways were unpredictable and be prepared.
The warning comes after a student fell from a raft on the Murrumbidgee River and died last month.
Shehryaar Abbasi was floating on the rafts with his cousin and a friend before he disappeared underwater and later died in hospital, according to the police.
The 23 year old was understood to be an inexperienced swimmer.
The government has urged people to consider their swimming ability and check for signage with any warnings before undertaking water activities.
Mr Gentleman said the government would be reviewing signage and safety information at popular inland swimming spots "to make sure hazard messaging is clear and accessible to the diverse Canberra community".
Sustainable Building and Construction Minister Rebecca Vassarotti also urged local families to practice water safety in their own backyards and skill up, including by learning how to perform CPR and boosting children's swimming skills.
She noted home swimming pools are among the most common locations where children under the age of five drown.
"For parents and guardians, take some time to help your kids further their swimming skills, teach them how to be safe around water, and closely supervise them while they are in and around the water," she said.
"Make sure that pool fences, gates and other barriers are secure, and the gates are shut at all times."
In August, the ACT government introduced new standards for Canberra pools, which include owners being required to maintain pool barriers. The reforms are expected to come into effect next May and include a four-year transition period so homeowners can make sure that their swimming pools or spas are compliant with safety standards.
Ways to stay safe around water
- Always let someone know where you are going and when you are planning to return and ensure they know what to do if you are late in returning.
- Consider your swimming ability and limits before entering the water. If in doubt, keep out of the water and away from its edge.
- Check signage for any warnings and be aware of possible hazards. Water depth in rivers can suddenly change, currents can be stronger than they appear, surfaces can be slippery and rocks or logs may be hidden below the surface.
- Take a first aid kit and ensure someone in your group is trained to use it.
- Consider your location and whether mobile reception or other communication is available in an emergency. In an emergency, call triple zero.
For more information on safety as well current closures in parks and reserves, visit the ACT Parks website.