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Say no to ‘pier pressure’ this summer

Thursday 15 November, 2012

Parks Victoria in conjunction with Independence Australia is reminding Victorians to think before they jump or dive from piers and jetties this summer to minimise the risk of spinal cord injury.

Each year there are 350-400 new cases of spinal cord injury reported and 9% of these are caused by water-related accidents.

Parks Victoria Chief Ranger, Graeme Davis says that despite regular patrols of piers and upgraded signage across Port Phillip and Western Port, people are not listening to the warnings.

“Diving from piers and jetties might seem like a good idea on a hot day but it is an extremely dangerous practice.”

“People don’t realise that water depths change daily as a result of the tides, sand movement and submerged debris such as shopping trolleys which are unexpected hazards,” said Mr Davis.

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week (12-18 November) aims to highlight risk factors for spinal cord injury, such as water-related incidents, and encourages the prevention of new injuries.

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week is an initiative of Independence Australia, which is a not-for-profit organisation that supports people living with disabilities to retain, regain and extend their independence.

Independence Australia, CEO, Peter Turner, notes that young men in particular are ignoring the warnings and not thinking before they jump or dive around waterways.

“Males aged 15 – 35 years are at the highest risk of acquiring a spinal cord injury, yet the most common causes of these which are water/diving related activities and road accidents – are preventable,” said Mr Turner.

Parks Victoria and Independence Australia are encouraging people to find a safe point from which to enter the water to swim and enjoy the beach this summer.

For more information visit  www.independenceaustralia.com/sciaw

 

MEDIA ARE ASKED NOT TO USE IMAGES OF PEOPLE JUMPING FROM PIERS.

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