Drowning warning after closure of Crookwell pool

CLOSED: Crookwell Swimming Pool will be closed for summer. Photo supplied.
CLOSED: Crookwell Swimming Pool will be closed for summer. Photo supplied.

Council has warned of the dangers for children swimming in unsupervised waterways and rivers following the closure of the Crookwell Pool.

The 70-year-old pool will be closed this swimming season on advice to the Upper Lachlan Shire Council from an independent consultant. The council-owned and -operated pool would usually open between November and March.

A majority of councillors supported, father of two, councillor Paul Culhane's suggestion to run a safety campaign.

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"In any normal year, kids swimming in unsupervised areas is an issue in rural NSW," Cr Culhane said.

"Given that the season is not going to happen this year, I don't want to be overly alarmist, but I thought it would be appropriate for the council to make a point," Cr Culhane said.

His concerns with the closure of the pool include, adequate access to recreation for children, and secondly, parents awareness of an increased risk of drowning.

"I know Taralga [Public School], for instance, which doesn't have a pool, annually does get transportation to Goulburn [Swimming Pool].

"I'm just suggesting we might consider approaching schools to have more of that this year," he said.

"So the kids do get some recreation, and that it makes it less likely that they will be taking unnecessary risks in unsupervised areas."

In 2019-20, there were 51 deaths in rivers and creeks and 31 in lakes and dams reported by Royal Life Saving Australia in the National Drowning Report 2020. In NSW, the report showed 89 people drowned and 13 of those were under 24-years-old.

The council unanimously supported a motion for the council to liaise with local schools and youth groups to provide excursions to Goulburn and Gunning Swimming Pools, and for staff to inform parents of the dangers of drowning to children.

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This story Warning for kids swimming in waterways and rivers first appeared on Goulburn Post.