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Stay safe around water

VICTORIANS are being reminded of the importance of water safety this weekend as the state heads into more hot weather, following a terrible spate of drownings recently.

The warning comes after five devastating drownings occurred over the past two weeks in separate incidents across the state, including a four-year-old girl.

Seven people were also taken to hospital after near-drowning incidents in one day.

With temperatures set to soar in the next few days and over the Australia Day holiday, authorities have stressed the need for extra vigilance when around water.

Yesterday marked the last day of the VICSWIM program in Hamilton, a program that aimed to ensure all Victorians had the opportunity to access water safety, survival and swimming programs.

Running across January, the program held classes for kids aged four to 13 in areas such as Macarthur, Penshurst, and Balmoral.

Regional coordinator, Brendan Gay said the tragedies over the past few weeks highlighted the importance of teaching kids how to maximise their safety and attitudes around water.

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