Make a splash this summer

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Female lifeguard with long brown hair wearing bright yellow and red long sleeve top standing in front of a blue outdoor pool
Mai Davies, Aquatics and Recreation Victoria’s 2019 Pool Lifeguard Award winner, has been a lifeguard for three years.

Summer is just heating up, and what better place to cool off than your local pool?

Our iconic Fitzroy Swimming Pool is the perfect place to swim a few laps or splash around outside with friends on a balmy summer’s day. We chat with Yarra Leisure’s Mai Davies – an award-winning lifeguard – about how to stay safe around the water this summer.

How can swimmers stay safe in the pool?

Read the signs, swim with a friend, enter feet first, swim within your depth and raise your hand if you need help. Knowing your ability – how strong a swimmer you are – is also very important.

Do kids still need to be supervised while lifeguards are around?

Yes, absolutely. Children under five should be within arm's reach at all times. Children under 10 should always be in your sight.
The common goal between parents and lifeguards is to make sure children are safe. The more people supervising, the lower the risk of an incident in and around the pool. Parents supervise, lifeguards save lives.

As a lifeguard, how do you know when someone's in trouble?

We look at how a swimmer is behaving. If we see someone who is clinging onto lane ropes, the edge of the pool or someone else, it’s likely they are a weaker swimmer. If someone is holding a particular part of their body, we can identify them as potentially injured. Constant supervision allows lifeguards to pick up on these signs and react to prevent further problems.

What do lifeguards do?

Aside from supervise swimmers, lifeguards help make sure leisure facilities run smoothly. Water safety education, managing and preventing risks, customer service, and operational duties are all part of a pool lifeguard’s daily routine.

What do you think are three important things people should know coming into the summer months?

  • Summer, especially on hot days, is an exciting time and the swimming pool only adds to this, so it’s important we all look out for each other.
  • Being sun-smart and staying hydrated will help keep the long summer days enjoyable for all.
  • Lastly, encouraging everyone to get out and have a go, enjoy the unpredictable weather, help each other stay safe and having a good time couldn't be more important to me!

Pool ahoy!

Yarra Leisure has three swimming pools, all heated and open all year round (except Good Friday and Christmas Day):


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