SOUTHEAST Queensland paddlers are putting their personal safety at risk by entering restricted areas on Seqwater’s recreational lakes.
Seqwater field ranger Rhiannon Reardon said too many kayakers, canoeists and paddle boarders were being caught in buoyed-off areas at lakes that were off-limits for people’s safety. “While our lakes offer a great range of on-water activities for the community to enjoy, it’s important people play it safe and abide by the rules,” Ms Reardon said.
“There are good reasons why some areas on the lake are restricted to public access, and those trespassing could find themselves in danger. “Some of the restricted areas are located around water intake towers, which draw in water from the lake. “These towers can create hidden underwater currents from the intakes which you cannot see or hear but affect your ability to swim if you are in the water.
“If a swimmer is caught in an intake tower current, they could easily drown before help can arrive.” Ms Reardon said paddling near dam walls or spillways was also dangerous and strictly prohibited. “Spillways can cause flowing water to act in ways that can be very dangerous to paddlers of all skill levels,” Ms Reardon said.
“If the water is flowing over the spillway, currents in that area are very strong and could end in fatal consequences.” Ms Reardon said it was important visitors to Seqwater lakes took responsibility for their own personal safety because even though Seqwater rangers regularly patrolled its lakes, they couldn’t be everywhere to help.
“We urge visitors to use common sense, observe the direction of signage and staff working at the site and stay out of the restricted buoyed-off areas at sites to make sure they have a safe and enjoyable visit, on and off the water.”
For more information, visit seqwater.com.au/playitsafe