Camping by a creek, paddling a canoe or casting a fishing line are great ways to enjoy South Australia’s aquatic environments. Follow these tips to stay safe around water:
- Be sun smart and keep hydrated - keep stocked up on your body’s natural fuel by drinking plenty of water. Avoid getting burnt by wearing protective clothing, sunscreen and a hat.
- Avoid falling boughs and natural obstacles - the safest place to park your vehicle, pitch your tent, enjoy a rest or have a picnic is well away from large trees. South Australia’s majestic river red gums are prone to dropping branches without warning. There’s no way to predict which way they’ll fall so steer clear in all directions. Watch out for sharp, prickly plants along trails, including yacca and wattle species.
- Swim safe - always take extreme care when entering water and use appropriate flotation devices. Avoid known rip areas at all times and never swim alone. Water conditions can change so never run and dive into water - even if you’ve checked the depth. Find out what to do in a rip with this advice from Surf Life Saving.
- Boat safe - before hitting the water ensure your craft is in good condition and that you have life jackets for all passengers. Respect other water users and be mindful of hazardous objects that might be floating or lurking below the surface such as branches, sticks and timber.
- Fish safe - fish with a mate or two, never alone, and watch out for waves. Check restrictions on where you can fish (closed areas) when you can fish (closed seasons) always observe boat and bag limits.
- Don’t get bogged - with a bit of rain, clay soils and floodplains can quickly become boggy and inaccessible. Driving on a boggy plain can damage tracks and your vehicle - not to mention the inconvenience of being stuck in the mud. It can also spread diseases such as phytophthora (root-rot fungus) to our native plants.
- Keep wildlife wild - enjoy observing native animals but don’t try to interact with them or feed them as this can affect their natural behaviour.
- Mosquitoes and stingy insects - use repellent to keep you and your travelling companions comfortable and stop the spread of disease. Avoid other unwanted creepy crawly guests by keeping a clean campsite. Dispose of rubbish daily and don’t leave food sitting out.
- Snakes and other creepy crawlies - snake bites are serious and require medical assistance. Refer to the St John’s fact sheet on snake bite. Spiders are unlikely to launch an attack on a predator bigger than themselves but will bite when threatened. Refer to the St John’s fact sheet on spider bite.