Australia has experienced an extraordinary combination of environmental extremes in fire and flood, and is now experiencing the pandemic Coronavirus COVID-19.

The collective impact is challenging social, economic and environmental norms.

The fires and floods strained and stressed communities in the impacted areas which were primarily regional, and COVID-19 has added to that through social and economic implications of international consequence of an unknown scale and duration.

Boating Industry Association President Darren Vaux says it is a time for looking after each other.

“That is why it was so good to see the Firefighter family day on the water event get off to a great start last weekend,” he said. “Congratulations to all involved and to Neil Driscoll of Above and Beyond Boating for developing the idea.

“The motivation for this initiative was to help share the joy and feel-good benefits of boating with these first responders. Let’s support more opportunities like this where boating can help in the recovery process; to share the benefits of getting out on a boat and out into a clean, fresh environment.”

BIA has received a video message of support from Dr Wallace J Nichols, the author of the acclaimed book Blue Mind. Dr Nichols has sent a video message of support for the Firefighter day on the water initiative and for the benefits in general of getting out on the water. As he says: “Water is medicine for those who need it most”.

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