SWIMMERS and boaties are being warned to be aware of the dangers below the water’s surface these Easter school holidays.
Minister for Natural Rescources Dr Anthony Lynham said water levels at some lakes across Southeast Queensland are falling following an unseasonably dry wet season.
This has in turn increased the danger of submerged and semi-submerged hazards in the water, such as trees, rocks and fence posts.
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The warning comes ahead of the Easter holidays, with thousands of people expected to take advantage of lakes and parks during the break.
“South East Queensland’s lakes and parks provide some of the best and most affordable swimming, boating, fishing and camping experiences in the state,” Dr Lynham said.
“But while the stillness of lakes can create a tranquil and safe feeling, incidents and injury can still happen if visitors become complacent. It’s important to remember that still water can still be dangerous.”
Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Neil Brennan urged lake users on the water to follow signage and operate their vessels in a sensible manner to avoid any hazards.
“Some of our popular lakes such as Lakes Somerset and Moogerah have gazetted 6-knot speed limits to improve public safety in the heavily timbered areas of the lake,” Mr Brennan said.
“Outside these areas, people should continue to be wary of hidden underwater hazards, especially while lake levels are decreasing.
“Lakes can be deceptively dangerous. If you’re unsure, play it safe and slow down.”
During the Easter period, Seqwater will be working with the Queensland Police Service, and Queensland Boating and Fisheries and Maritime Safety Queensland to enforce safe and responsible behaviour on and off the water.
Mr Brennan said the drop in lake water levels has already resulted in the closure of some boat ramps and restrictions placed on some recreation activities at lakes.
“I would advise people to plan ahead and visit the Seqwater website to confirm what activities are available at each lake,” Mr Brennan said.