• Annemarie Taylor

Hawkesbury Police help international students keep their heads above water

Overseas students often have little idea how dangerous Australia’s waterways can potentially be, so Hawkesbury Police partnered with Surf Life Saving Australia this morning to raise awareness on the banks of the Hawkesbury in Windsor.

Joining the group of around 30 was the Honorary Consul General of Nepal, Deepak Khadka, who attended because several Nepalese students have died in New South Wales waters in the last few years, and the Nepalese government sees water safety training as essential for its citizens.

Some deaths occur among overseas students because some are from landlocked countries, without an awareness of the risks.

Also present at the event was Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston and Cllr Nathan Zamprogno, chairman of the Hawkesbury River County Council who was representing Hawkesbury Council. Hawkesbury SES unit commander Kevin Jones was also there along with Michael Ilinsky and Craig Roberts from Royal Life Saving Society – Australia.

Hawkesbury was selected for the launch because local police are active in promoting inland water safety and they also regularly patrol the region’s rivers and waterways, as they did this past weekend.

Chief Inspector Garry Sims APM, the Customer Service Duty Officer for Hawkesbury PAC, said, “Unfortunately we have had 10 drownings in the Hawkesbury over the past five years. Many, if not all, of these incidents could have been avoided. The loss for families, friends and the community as a result of a drowning is immense. We encourage people to enjoy the local inland waterways over summer but urge caution and care when in and around the water.”

The water safety awareness campaign features a video and outreach campaign in multiple languages, aimed at keeping international visitors safe on Australia's waterways and coastlines.

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