Wally’s brutal message: ‘It won’t save your life’
Surf Life Saving Queensland has enlisted the help of Maroons Origin heroes as it warns men over 50 are most at risk of drowning at beaches up and down the state this summer.
Wally Lewis, Kevin Walters, Gorden Tallis and Trevor Gillmeister will be front and centre of SLSQ's new summer safety campaign when it launches on Friday.
Data shows five of the 11 drowning deaths that occurred at Queensland beaches last season were Australian men over the age of 50.
"Guys get into that age bracket and they've got short memories," Lewis said.
"They think they've still got the fitness they once had, but they forget how strong the surf can be.
"You have to be sensible about it and ask yourself; 'Do I want to be around to enjoy it again next year?'"
The summer safety campaign will hammer home the message - "she'll be right, won't save your life".
It strongly encourages people to always swim between the red and yellow flags, always swim with a friend, never drink and swim and to be sun safe at the beach.
More than 1800 people had to be rescued while swimming outside the red and yellow flags last season.
SLSQ CEO Dave Whimpey said the organisation was excited to partner with the Queensland Maroons to deliver lifesaving advice.
"We have seen men over the age of 50 getting into trouble at our beaches by swimming alone before patrol hours and not swimming between our red and yellow flags," he said.
"Although we think we know the surf, we cannot afford to be complacent on our beaches as the ocean does not discriminate.
"The Queensland Maroons legends are respected and we know Queenslanders will listen to their advice.
"If volunteer surf lifesavers or lifeguards cannot see you, they cannot rescue you and that is why it is so important to only swim between the red and yellow flags."
Originally published as Wally's brutal message: 'It won't save your life'