12 December 2017

Page 7


Featuring new works by

Drowning ‘almost certain’ in summer Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au SOMEONE is almost certain to drown on the Mornington Peninsula this summer. Coupled with this, there’s an 88 per cent likelihood of one or more peninsula residents drowning in any one year. On the peninsula, males are 6.3 times more likely to drown than females. This is the alarming scenario painted by the Life Saving Victoria Drowning Report 2016-17 which shows a “99 per cent likelihood of one or more drownings occurring on the Mornington Peninsula in any given year”. There were six drownings on the peninsula in the past year. The report says that in the decade to 2016, 44 people drowned on the peninsula with 58 residents being hospitalised after non-fatal incidents involving water. In that same time, 21 peninsula residents drowned elsewhere in Victoria while 84 others were taken to emergency departments. The report shows that 45 people (78 per cent male) drowned in Victoria in the 2016-17 financial year – up 20 per cent on the 10-year average. In the same timeframe the report also reveals a six per cent rise in drownings for children aged up to four; a 25 per cent rise for those aged 15-24;

an 18 per cent rise for 25-44 year olds; and a 45 per cent rise for those aged 65 and over. While children face the greatest risk of drowning, adults aged 65-plus had the highest age-specific rate of drownings in 2016-17. Males are four times more likely to drown than females. There was a 25 per cent rise in drownings for those aged 15-24, an 18 per cent rise in the drownings for those aged 25-44 and a 45 per cent rise for those aged 65 years and over. Most drownings last year occurred while people were swimming, paddling or wading (29 per cent), walking or playing near water (18 per cent) or using pools or spas (11 per cent). This year six people who drowned in Victoria had foreign backgrounds (13 per cent) down 15 per cent on the 10-year average. These figures may be even higher, as in the study period country of birth or ethnicity was unknown in 68 per cent of drownings. Slipping or falling into water accounted for 40 per cent of drownings last year, up 46 per cent over the past decade, with an average of 12 deaths a year from 2006-16. Alcohol is a common factor in drowning, representing 22 per cent of yearly tolls over the past decade (an average of nine deaths a year). As in previous years, nine people died in 2016-17 when they drank alcohol before swimming, representing 20 per cent of total drownings.

Daryl Turner and

Sharyn McCombe Exhibition launches Saturday 16th and runs to 28th December

Home and dry: VMR crewman Bob Chase looks on as the dismasted yacht is towed to shore. Picture: Supplied

Sailors saved with ship-to-shore call A STRONG south-easterly wind was the last thing two Hobie cat sailors needed after losing their mast about two kilometres off Mornington last week. Their craft was rapidly heading out to sea when Volunteer Marine Rescue crews received an emergency call from the Water Police. They were quickly on the scene to help, 11.40am, Monday 4 December. VMR crewman Bob Chase: “We were alongside the stricken yacht within 30 minutes of the

call. The two occupants in their mid-late 30s were glad to see us. They did all the right things. They were wearing lifejackets and had a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch.” VMR vessel AK1 towed the stricken cat back to Fishermans beach. VRM president Tim Warner said anyone in trouble on the water to call 000 or the VMR number 0419 233 999.

‘Smart’ ways to ease shark threat BEACHGOERS are being urged to be “sharksmart” over summer. Victorian Fisheries Authority CEO Travis Dowling said sharks were a natural part of a healthy marine environment and, while the risk of an attack is low, there are ways to reduce the odds. “When swimming, surfing, diving or fishing, people are in the shark’s natural environment and so should be mindful and make good choices,” Mr Dowling said. He said people should not swim, dive or surf alone and be alert to the latest sightings at emergency.vic.gov.au Bathers should stay between the red and yellow flags on lifesaver-patrolled beaches and avoid areas that attract sharks, such as seal haunts or areas where fishing, human and animal waste enters the water.

Mr Dowling said beachgoers should watch for signs of unusual behaviour in wildlife or fish, which can indicate that a shark is in the area. Reports of sharks seen close can be made to police on 000, or notifying lifesavers. “That information is relayed to the VicEmergency website and smart phone app so it can be shared quickly with beachgoers,” he said. “If the beach is patrolled, lifesavers will alert swimmers and possibly close the beach altogether if that’s appropriate.” Mr Dowling said it had been 30 years since there had been a fatal shark attack in Victoria. “While there is no evidence that shark numbers are increasing, our human population is growing each year and more people are using the coastline to relax and recreate.” Details: vfa.vic.gov.au/shark-smart

“Daryl’s works, grab you with humour, but take you into your unconscious world.” “Daryl Turner, master of what lies beneath.” “Sharyn’s artwork provides a space to explore and reflect the moods and emotions associated with the tension between stillness and movement.”

Opening Saturday 16 December from noon. All are welcome to visit and view these masterful new works. th

113 and 119 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento Enquiries: 9787 2953 or 0419 651 925 Preview artworks online

www.manyunggallery.com.au Southern Peninsula News

12 December 2017


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.