Victoria had numerous water rescues yesterday and it has put emergency services on alert as the state heads to the beach over the Australia Day long weekend.

Life-Saving Victoria has reminded swimmers to be vigilant as they go out into the water as an additional four people were saved at 13th Beach near Barwon Heads, just a day after a tragic drowning there.

In the 6 months since June, the state has already passed its record for drownings over a 12 month period, with 42 people losing their lives, with 7 recorded in the past 10 days alone.

Temperatures on Monday will rise above 40 degrees in some areas.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said “We’ve had 42 people die as a result of drowning deaths. If you look at the whole 12 months before that, there were 34 people that died. So, already we’ve seen a significant increase in only six-and-a-half months.’

“It’s involved everyone from a young child of 4 years of age, through to a gentleman into his 60s.’

“It means on those significant family events birthdays and weddings, there’ll be an empty seat at the table.”

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