Check water depth before swimming

Published: January 15, 2008  |  Source: nqr.farmonline.com.au
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The Spinal Injuries Association is urging Queenslanders to take special care when swimming, driving or traveling through bushland following recent widespread flooding in Queensland.

Acting CEO John Mayo said that the floods had caused many unexpected changes to the Environment that could cause a spinal cord injury.

“The recent rain has been wonderful for Queensland but it has also resulted in huge changes to our environment that we all need to take into account,” he said.

“The recent storms have shifted all types of dangerous debris not just in rivers, creeks and dams, but also at our beaches.

“This type of debris, such as logs and branches, is often what causes a spinal cord injury – if someone dives into the water and hits the debris, they can break their back or neck, resulting in Paraplegia or Quadriplegia.”

Mr Mayo said that water-related accidents were the third most common cause of a spinal cord injury in Queensland, following road trauma and falls/crushes. Around 90 people each year sustain a spinal cord injury in Queensland – or one person on average every four days.

“Water levels and currents have also been altered with these heavy rains so while someone may be familiar with a body of water, the recent rain has changed everything,” Mr Mayo said.

”We strongly urge people to take special care when swimming in creeks, rivers, dams or at the beach given the changed circumstances.”

*Full story in this week’s North Queensland Register, out Thursday.

NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER