Catch a wave safely into the school holidays

Help families preparing for time away near a beach, lake or river with this advice to stay safe by the water.

Wednesday, 29 March 2023 at 1:43 am

Surf Life Saving Australia's 2022–23 summer coast drowning snapshot has shown that 100% of coastal drownings last summer occurred at an unpatrolled area, outside patrol hours or outside the red and yellow flags.

This is why we are asking teachers to let students, parents and carers in their school communities know about Surf Life Saving Australia's Beachsafe website and app.

Beachsafe helps people to find their nearest patrolled beaches and access key water safety information in 8 different languages, covering:

  • beach safety – flags and signs, lifeguards top tips, rip currents, waves, sun safety
  • marine stingers – the different types of stingers and treatments
  • the right gear – when rock fishing, boating or on watercraft
  • marine creatures – information on other animals that live in the ocean.

This great tool helps ensure a safer holiday for everyone, so please mention Beachsafe if you're talking to students, parents or carers about going to the beach these holidays.

You can also share tips encouraging safe behaviours, such as:

  • swimming at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags
  • wearing a lifejacket if they are going boating, rock fishing or on watercraft
  • avoiding alcohol and drugs while undertaking water activities
  • supervising children on, in and around water at all times
  • checking weather conditions before leaving home.

Curriculum-based water safety activities

Teachers looking for great classroom-based activities to complement their swimming and water-safety programs can also check out:

  • Life Saving Victoria's Swim City – an exciting online game where students will meet Finn, Pod and Splash to learn all about how to stay safe in and around water
  • Kangaroo Beach – a Surf Life Saving Australia short cartoon series (available on ABCKids) about trainee lifeguards Pounce, Gemma, Neville and Frizzy learning water-safety skills
  • Life Saving Victoria's Classroom water-safety activities.

School swimming outside school hours voucher program

We'd also like to remind schools they can access vouchers for the School swimming outside school hours program up until the end of Term 1, 2023.

If your school was unable to book swimming lessons this term, now is a great time to target students most at risk and provide vouchers for swimming lessons.

For more information, see School Swimming Outside of School Hours Voucher Program and follow the steps detailed in the FAQs for Schools on the department's Swimming in Schools webpage.

Find out more

For more information about Swimming in Schools, contact Alison Porter, Statewide Swimming Coordinator:

For enquiries relating to the design of swimming and water-safety programs that meet the Victorian Curriculum F-10, contact Life Saving Victoria, Education: