South Africa reports on drowning

The ILS headquarters received the drowning report of the Life Saving Association South Africa (SALSA).

Here is a summary of the report:

  • 67 South Africans drowned in 2003. This is a decrease of 105 (61%) compared to the year 2002, in which 172 died as a result of drowning.
  • Of the total number of drownings 54 (80,6%) were black; 9% were coloured; 0% were Asian and 6% were white.
  • Of the total drownings 23 (34,3%) were children under 14.
  • Of the 67 drownings 63 (94%) occurred in freshwater situations, 4 (6%) in seawater.
  • The highest number of drownings occurred in dams, 27 (40,3%), canals 16 (23,9%), rivers 10 (14,9%), pools 9 (13,4%), harbour 2 (3%), sea 2 (3%), and water hole 1 (1,5%).

These figures are based purely on the information supplied to SALSA by the various police stations around the country. Unfortunately, there have been drownings reported in the press of which SALSA had no official notification.

The Association would like to think, that because of its efforts over the past years of the awareness and development programmes that it has instituted, the number of rescues undertaken by its voluntary members and the publishing of drowning statistics compiled by themselves are helping to bring to the notice of the public the very alarming statistics of drowning in South Africa.

The co-operation of the media is also appreciated.