Dangers of swimming from Wharves and Jetties
While many of us enjoy a nice swim on a warm day it pays to be vigilant while swimming. Gippsland Ports has recently received feedback concerning dangerous swimming activities from some public jetties, especially around boat ramps.
At any wharf or jetty, there is always a possibility that there may be submerged hazards which can cause injury. Things like shopping trollies, debris, trees, rubbish, rocks and glass can be very difficult to see from above and although a swimming spot may appear safe on the surface, these types of hazards are often overlooked.
Swimming in areas where boats are operating is extremely dangerous and can result in death or serious injuries. Most boats are powered by propellers which are sharp and spin at high speed, and swimmers in the water are sometimes very difficult for boat operators to see.
Boat propeller injuries, if not fatal, are always serious; usually resulting in severe disfigurement, leading to prolonged rehabilitation, ongoing disability and permanent impairment.
Jumping and diving from wharves, jetties or bridges can also result in spinal damage.
If a swimmer dives too deep and comes into contact with the bottom, there is a risk of head, neck or spinal damage, which in the worst cases, could cause death or a severe injury or permanent disability.
If you are looking for a place to swim instead of jumping from a jetty or wharf please swim at a designated No Boating Zone, at a Patrolled Surf Beach or at a safe location free of hazards and away from power boats.
Swimming and diving from Gippsland Ports wharves and Jetties is not permitted due to the serious risks involved and penalties apply for offenders.