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A difficult summer where more than 20 people drowned in lakes, rivers, pools, and the beach prompted an unprecedented show of co-operation between the state’s water safety bodies.

Dismayed by the fact that the message of safety around water hasn’t been getting through to the community, the agencies got together for a joint press conference ahead of the Australia Day Holiday.

Representatives from Surf Life Saving NSW joined NSW Police, Marine Rescue NSW, Royal Life Saving NSW, Roads and Maritime, Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service, and the Australian Lifeguard Service at the Marine Area Command in Sydney to deliver a pointed safety warning to revellers.

Surf Life Saving NSW has subsequently been working with stakeholders on a coordinated advertising campaign across various media platforms to help spread the message of safety around water environments – specifically around rip currents and other beach and water hazards.

The campaign, funded by the NSW Government and backed by Surf Life Saving NSW and Royal Lifesaving, targets risk taking behaviour and urges people to “Get Water Safe, Not Sorry”. A double-page poster was also printed in NewsLocal papers which included a CPR chart and tips for staying safe around all kinds of waterways.