River Safety

Council is committed to river and water safety in the Hawkesbury. New safety signage has been installed at Macquarie Park in Windsor in consultation with Royal Life Saving NSW and translated here into multiple languages for the information of local residents and visitors.

Inland waterways - know the risks

Local rivers and other waterways can be dangerous places to swim, even for experienced swimmers and unfortunately, drownings have occurred in local waterways over the years.

The water can be icy cold, there are submerged trees and rocks and deceptively strong currents. Sometimes people may overestimate their swimming ability, or may have consumed alcohol before swimming, or may be unfamiliar with local conditions or recent changes to the river.

According to Royal Life Saving Australia, from July 2022 to July 2023 there were 281 drowning deaths in Australia. 27 per cent occurred in inland waterways like rivers, creeks and dams, 27 per cent were at beaches and 12 per cent were in the ocean.

77% of all drowning deaths were males, 57% were adults 45 years and older, and 44% occurred in major cities.

Safely enjoying the Hawkesbury River and other waterways

The Hawkesbury, Colo and Macdonald Rivers, and their tributaries, are some of our most attractive and enjoyable locations for locals and tourists to visit.

Instead of swimming, consider these other enjoyable river activities, including:

  • Picnicking
  • Fishing
  • Walking - with friends or pets
  • Horse riding
  • Boating
  • Enjoying the view
  • Camping at Colo

If you are by or on the water, Royal Life Saving Australia urges everyone to follow these five simple rules:

  • Always supervise children in, on and around water
  • Learn swimming, water safety and lifesaving skills
  • Wear a lifejacket when boating, fishing or paddling
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs around water
  • Know your limits, the conditions, check the weather
  • Still looking to cool off?

    There are far better places to swim during our warmer months. Follow the links below to find out more:

    Richmond Swimming Centre - September to April

    Hawkesbury Oasis Aquatic and Fitness Centre - all year round

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