Be Safer in the Water

Research conducted by the Royal Life Saving Society Australia indicates that people in the following categories may have a reduced understanding of their own swimming ability, and therefore may be more at risk in the water*:

  • Children
  • Older Adults
  • Persons with an injury, disability or medical condition
  • Non-swimmers, weak swimmers & persons unfamiliar with an aquatic environment

At Monash Sport, we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable experience in and around the water. If you are in one of the higher risk categories, it is important to identify yourself to Monash Sport staff.

*For more information please see:

More about the at-risk swimmer groups:

For information on water safety information for these groups


  • All children under the age of 10 need to be actively supervised by a parent or guardian over the age of 16 years. Parents/guardians need to adhere to the Watch Around Water Policy at the Doug Ellis Swimming Pool.
  • For children over the age of 10 years, parents or guardians need to have an understanding of their child’s swimming ability to determine the level of supervision required. It is recommended that parents or guardians are in the facility and are actively supervising their child.

Older Adults:

Older adults may have an increased risk of drowning due to the following:

  • Swimming skills may have declined over time, particularly when these skills have not been practised or maintained. Therefore, the perceived swimming ability of the older adult may be different from the person's current swimming skill level.
  • Older adults may become fatigued more quickly whilst swimming.

A person with an injury disability or medical condition:

  • A person's swimming ability may be altered by an injury, disability, medical condition or medications and therefore the perceived swimming ability may be different from the person's actual swimming ability.
  • A person’s swimming ability may be altered throughout a single swimming session if the onset of injury, disability or medical condition is exacerbated during the session. A strong swimmer may, therefore, become suddenly weaker.
  • Injury, disability or medical conditions may result in the person becoming fatigued more quickly.

A person from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds:

  • May have reduced understanding of the signage and safety information displayed in the facility, therefore, placing them at greater risk.

Non-swimmers, weak swimmers and persons unfamiliar with the environment

  • May only feel comfortable swimming in depths where they can comfortably stand.
  • May become anxious when in deeper water or where they are unable to touch the pool floor

Water Safety Information:

Pool Lifeguards:

  • A pool lifeguard/s will always be on duty when the facility is operating and is trained in supervision and education of facility users and in responding to aquatic emergencies.
  • The pool lifeguard can be identified by the red and yellow uniform with the word LIFEGUARD displayed.
  • The pool lifeguard is responsible for overseeing the supervision of people within the facility including the swimming pools, sauna, spa and steam rooms, and the seating areas.
  • The lifeguard can let you know the safest places to swim based upon your swimming ability.
  • It is always a great idea to identify yourself to the lifeguard if you are unsure of pool depths, you have reduced confidence in swimming or if you are in one of the at-risk swimmer groups.

Pool Depths & Depth Signage:

  • Make sure that you understand the pool depths prior to entering the water. The pool depths are displayed on signage around each swimming pool. Always swim in a pool depth that is comfortable according to your swimming ability.
  • A red line on the pool floor indicates that there is a steeper change in the floor gradient, and therefore the pool floor will become deeper more quickly.
  • The variable pool (back pool) has a movable floor and therefore the depth may be different from the previous time you swam in that pool.. Always check the depth signage before entering this pool. No diving is allowed in this pool.
  • Diving is only allowed in the deep end of the Main Pool.

Learn to Swim Programs 

  • Monash Sport offers learn to swim and water safety programs for people of all ages.
  • If you are an adult or an older adult, it is never too late to learn how to swim.
  • Please ask our Monash Sport staff on how to enrol into one of our programs.