Floods prompt 11 rescues in NSW
EMERGENCY Services Minister, Steve Whan, today joined with the State Emergency Service (SES) Commissioner Murray Kear to ask people to stay out of floodwater, following 11 flood rescues in NSW over the weekend.
Mr Whan said people were placing themselves and also the lives of rescuers in great peril by deliberately entering floodwater.
“Deliberately entering the water is main reason for deaths during flooding: it just does not make sense,” Mr Whan said.
“We were lucky that all flood rescues were able to be safely and successfully completed over the long weekend.
“Tragically, however, we see people losing their lives every year because they deliberately go into floodwater; either in vehicles, on foot, or in canoes or boats.
“Floodwater can harbour hidden snags and debris, can be deeper or faster flowing than it looks and may contain sewage and disease.
“It is not worth the risk to your health or safety to deliberately enter the water during a flood.”
SES Commissioner Murray Kear said SES volunteers were well equipped and trained to assist the community in times of flooding, with more than 1000 SES volunteers having recently updated their skills by undertaking a swift water rescue course, and a further 600 undergoing training within the next year.
“The swift water rescue training allows our volunteers to work safely and effectively when called upon to help people who become trapped in floodwater,” Mr Kear said.
“Virtually all of the rescues our volunteers undertake could have been prevented by not entering floodwater in the first place.”
Mr Whan said prevention was definitely better than cure when it came to flood rescue.
“The message from our State Emergency Service is clear: never enter floodwater, and do not let children play in floodwater – that goes especially for stormwater drains.”