Shepparton residents had a unique opportunity today to safely test if they could withstand a strong current as part of a Life Saving Victoria initiative to highlight the hidden dangers of inland waterways such as rivers, creeks and dams.
A water tank filled with one-tonne of water was installed at Aquamoves Lakeside Shepparton from 12pm to 4pm, with the challenge for people to see if they could move the tank.
Life Saving Victoria’s General Manager, Paul Shannon said the one-tonne Respect The River tank mimicked the equivalent to a fast-moving river current.
“Today we challenged people to come and try to move the one-tonne tank as a way of demonstrating what it would be like to swim against a strong water current, such as in a river,” Mr Shannon said.
“Most people do not likely fully appreciate the strength required to fight it.”
Royal Life Saving Australia’s Respect The River campaign, funded by the federal government, is about raising awareness of the need for inland water safety across Australia, including black spot inland waterways including the Yarra River and Murray River.
“You might think inland waterways are inviting but drowning prevention evidence shows there are many hidden dangers such as submerged objects, debris and strong currents,” Mr Shannon said.
“When enjoying our rivers remember to check safety signs, beware of unstable edges, wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol and never swim alone.”
Shepparton was the first stop in a regional tour for the Respect The River tank this summer, with the tank set to visit Echuca and Paynesville over the next month, Mr Shannon said.
“It is the first time the tank has left Melbourne and the second installation of the tank to date - with the tank first being installed on the banks of the Yarra in April last year.
“We are transporting the tank around the state this summer to give regional Victorian residents an opportunity to feel the power of one-tonne of water.”