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Isaac’s River Recovery – A Water Safety Reminder

HF11 Isaac Feature
WCH News
Posted 14 Feb 2024

16-year-old Isaac is encouraging young people to take care and be safe around the water after he spent his summer holidays recovering from a serious boating accident on the River Murray.

During the October long weekend last year, he was on a sea biscuit being towed behind a boat, when he spotted a huge stick poking out of the water. Dodging the stick, he then accidentally hit two submerged poles and was in instant agony.

“I had never been in that much pain. It was excruciating,” he said.

Climbing back onto the boat with the help of his brother, he could feel his bone protruding from his hip, and wondered if he would be able to walk again.

Once in hospital it was confirmed that Isaac had suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis.

After having surgery at the Women's and Children's Hospital and Royal Adelaide Hospital to have two metal plates inserted in his pelvis, Isaac then spent six weeks on crutches and in a wheelchair.

“The recovery has been hard, but I’m glad I’m okay,” he said.

What is his advice for other kids? “Listen to your parents, stay out of dangerous situations and just be really aware that things can go wrong.”

Three and a half months later, we are pleased to report that Isaac is finally back to playing sports – including soccer and table tennis.

HF11 Isaac 2

Sadly, his story is not unique, with the WCH Paediatric Trauma Service reporting an 85% increase in water related injuries this summer, with 10 children needing hospital treatment for injuries sustained from jetty jumping, river sports or near drownings, compared with just 4 at the same time last summer.

Our experts have these tips for staying safe and having fun in the water.

🚫 Observe and follow safety messages and signs

🚣‍♂️ Ensure children are wearing appropriate floatation devices and that they are in good working order

🙋🏾‍♂️ Have an adult dedicated to supervising children around water

🌊 Be aware of items submerged in the river from last year’s floods

👕 Consider dressing children in bright coloured bathers or rashies.

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If you experience an emergency around water, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

If your child requires urgent care but you aren’t sure if they need to come to an emergency department, contact the Child and Adolescent Virtual Urgent Care Service from any mobile device: