Be safe on the River Murray, SES warns amid high flows
With summer fast approaching, the South Australian State Emergency Service (SES) is reminding locals and tourists to stay safe on and around the river.
The State Emergency Service is reminding everyone to exercise water safety on and around the River Murray.
Continued high flows over the past few months have created a burst of flora, fish, birds and other fauna, attracting visitors and locals alike.
About 45 gigalitres of water has been flowing over Lock One each day during the past week, more than twice as much as at the same time last year.
SES chief officer Chris Beattie said these high flows could result in “challenging conditions”.
“A vibrant and healthy River Murray is one of our state’s great tourist attractions,’’ he said.
“Local communities and visitors may see river levels raise and lower over the coming months as the flows from interstate are impacted by rainfall events.
“We urge people to apply basic safety when using the river, including checking weather forecasts for your particular area and if flood warnings or advice have been issued.
“We are continually monitoring water flows and will issue an advice if appropriate.’’
Mr Beattie also said people should be aware that some low-lying areas of the floodplain may be impacted by rising water levels and shack owners should consider preparing their properties should river levels continue to rise.
Chrissie Bloss, from the Department for Environment and Water, said current water levels in the River Murray were providing ideal conditions for wildlife to flourish.
“Increased flows and floodplain inundation … have created ideal conditions for the local ecology and provide great environmental benefits for the river,” she said.
“We encourage people to enjoy the scenery and the water and stay safe.
“Changing flows are part of normal river life.”
Anyone who finds themselves, or witnesses others, in difficulty in a life-threatening situation should call 000.
For other river emergencies, call 132 500.
Weekly updates on River Murray flows can be found at www.environment.sa.gov.au
Check for flood warnings and local weather conditions before planning water activities
Inspect all safety equipment on boats before taking to the water
High flows and debris can create risks for people in or on the water
Always wear a personal floatation device on the river
Plan to undertake water activities with a “buddy” or in groups when possible
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