Winter swimming to continue at Dawn Fraser Baths

Thursday, 14 April 2022

Inner West Council will continue the winter swimming program at Dawn Fraser Baths after making some safety improvements.

Between 20-30 residents use the winter swimming access through a ‘key and buddy system’.

They undergo annual inductions and sign waivers as part of the safety process.

While no safety incidents have been reported nor are there historical records of any incidents, Council last year resolved to receive a report on the “key and buddy system”.

As part of the safety review, Winter Swimming was recently assessed by The Royal Life Savings Society (RLSSA) who said that while the practice of allowing unsupervised access to aquatics facilities is uncommon, there are a variety of locations where it occurs, including areas such as remote communities and low patronage pools.

The RLSSA recommended a range of actions that could be undertaken to mitigate risk for unsupervised entry to the DFB. This included:

• Reviewing swimmer inductions, the key and buddy system and emergency procedures

• Improving swimmer safety training

• Providing online information resources, for example safety videos

One of the winter swimmers, Greg Proudlock, has been a winter swimmer at DFB for 15 years.

“It’s the thrill of the chill,” he said.

“It’s the little known appeal of diving into icy water. When you get down to 12 degrees Celsius on a beautiful blue sky morning, it’s an absolute sanctuary down there.”

Greg explains that anyone can become a winter swimmer and a ‘key buddy’.

“You just need to do the induction and pay the fee,” he said. Anyone winter swimming must attend with a fellow key buddy and only during daylight hours.

“We see ourselves as winter caretakers,” Greg said. “We keep an eye out for the facility.”

For media enquiries, contact Elizabeth Heath, Media and Communications Coordinator, 9392 5334 or Elizabeth.Heath@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

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Page last updated: 14 Apr 2022