Police are warning people to take care and stay safe this summer, especially on Australia Day when those celebrating take to swimming pools or float down the Murray River to keep cool.
The warning follows an incident at the Ball Park Lagoon on January 5 where a man is understood to have lost balance and fell into the water where he suffered a serious neck injury.
The man, 25, from Doreen in Victoria was not drunk or behaving irresponsibly.
He was airlifted to Alfred Hospital, before being transferred to the spinal unit at the Austin Hospital.
The fall has left the man with a spinal and neck injury and he will never walk again.
Corowa Police Sergeant Andrew Robertson encouraged people to enjoy themselves this Australia Day but to behave responsibly and look out for one another.
“Be responsible, look after each other, water and alcohol don’t mix and just enjoy the water for what it is because we have a lovely area here,” Sgt Robertson said.
“If you are going to drink alcohol, don’t drink to the excess because we don’t want to see any anti-social behaviour that results in any assaults or that brings yourself under notice.”
Federation Council recently implemented an Alcohol Prohibited Area in Rowers Park from 6am on Australia Day for a 24 hour period, which will take place for the next four years.
Council also established an additional Alcohol Free Zone along Bridge Road, Corowa (Sanger Street roundabout to John Foord Bridge, including car park).
Sgt Robertson told the Free Press that he welcomed the alcohol prohibited areas and said police would be out in force policing it.
“It’s a real good thing, it’s something the council and police have been working on for a number of years now.
“It’s good to finally get it through and active for this Australia Day.”
Sgt Robertson confirmed there would be a large police presence on Australia Day.
“We have got a lot of resources rostered out here during the day and night, with some extra resources from Albury helping out,” he said.
Federation Council Mayor Pat Bourke echoed Sgt Robertson’s comments on anti-social behaviour, saying it would not be tolerated.
“Police will be patrolling all parks in Corowa, specifically Rowers Park and the Lagoon area as well as waterways and have a zero tolerance stance to anti-social behaviour and excessive consumption of alcohol,” Mayor Bourke said.
“The council received strong support for the an Alcohol Prohibited Area in Rowers Park on Australia Day and the establishment of an additional Alcohol Free Zone along Bridge Road, Corowa following consultation with the community, as well as NSW Police, Murrumbidgee Local Health Services, local committees and sporting clubs.
“Council believes by implementing an Alcohol Prohibited Area at Rowers Park from 6am on Australia Day each year, for a 24 hour period, that this will be a successful measure towards the prevention of anti-social behaviour caused by public drinkers at this popular location.”
As part of the Australia Day celebrations, a Ski Show and Rowing Exhibition will be held resulting in an exclusion zone on the Murray River between the Lone Pine Reserve Boat Ramp to the Lions Riverside Park Boat Ramp at Corowa between 1.30pm and 4pm.
Some tips for staying safe this Australia Day:
● Drink in moderation, stay safe and look out for your mates.
● Make sure you slip on a shirt, slap on a hat, slop on some sunscreen and slide on some sunnies.
● Keep up your fluids if you are out and about – drink plenty of water, take some with you.
● Try to stay out of the sun in between the hottest part of the day and seek shade where possible.
● Alcohol and swimming are not a good combination, so if you are going to have a few drinks please don’t go into the water.
● Always check depth and the possibility of submerged objects before diving into water.
● Residents and visitors are reminded that all parks in Federation Council, including Rowers Park and the lagoon, are glass free zones.