THE effort to educate the Border’s newest residents about safe swimming in the Murray River and other waterways is to be commended.
Those who grow up by the river generally have a healthy respect for it after hearing from a young age of its possible dangers. New residents can’t be expected to have any immediate understanding of the vagaries of the mighty Murray.
In Albury yesterday, young immigrants aged 12 to 19 were among those getting an education in first-aid, water safety, bodyboarding, life jacket usage and rescue techniques.
The Albury-Wodonga Volunteer Resource Bureau is supporting them through the course at Noreuil Park, where Afghani man Abdul Ehsani drowned last month.
In December, an 18-year-old member of Mildura’s Hazara refugee community also drowned while swimming in the Murray in Sunraysia.
A dip in the river is one of the great pleasures of summer for those lucky enough to live by the great waterway, and it should not be the case that we create a sense of fear about it.
None of us is immune to getting into trouble, but the risk is so much greater for those who have no comprehension of what it is they are jumping into.