Australian swimming legend James Magnussen is urging the community to stay swim safe this summer.

Magnussen is the Ambassador for Royal Life Saving NSW’s 2019-20 Stay Safe Summer campaign.

The two-time world champion and Olympic medalist said that being properly prepared for the water during the hot summer months is crucial.

“We want everyone to enjoy our beautiful waterways this summer but it’s vital, whether you are an Olympic level swimmer or not, that you know your limitations,” Mr Magnussen said.

There were 46 drowning deaths in New South Wales during last summer. Rivers accounted for more than 28 per cent of the fatalities, more than beach-related incidents. Men accounted for almost 80 per cent of last summer’s fatalities, with the 45-54 age group at most risk.

“Blokes tend to take the most risks, the statistics show that, so keep an eye out for your family and friends and please learn to swim, it’s a skill for life,” James added.

Country MP Paul Toole said it doesn’t matter where you swim, you can get in trouble in a swimming pool just as much as a dam, creek or river.

“We encourage everyone to enjoy our waterways but let’s do it safely by making sure of a few simple things,” Mr Toole said.

Water safety tips include:

  • Learn to swim – it’s a skill for life
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol
  • Always wear a lifejacket
  • Know your limitations; and
  • Keep watch on your family and friends