65 Australians lost their lives in drowning related incidents last year according to the Royal Life Saving Society Australiaâ„¢s 2006 National Drowning Report released at Parliament House Canberra on October 12th 2006. This figure is a reduction on the five year average by 9 deaths, but it is 6 more deaths than last year.
“The clear message from this yearâ„¢s drowning figures is that you can not be complacent when around any water, with nearly one third of drowning deaths occurring away from the coast said Rob Bradley Chief Executive Officer Royal Life Saving Society Australia.
65 Australians lost their lives in drowning related incidents last year according to the Royal Life Saving Society Australia’s 2006 National Drowning Report released at Parliament House Canberra on October 12th 2006. This figure is a reduction on the five year average by 9 deaths, but it is 6 more deaths than last year.
“The clear message from this year’s drowning figures is that you can not be complacent when around any water, with nearly one third of drowning deaths occurring away from the coast said Rob Bradley Chief Executive Officer Royal Life Saving Society Australia.
Royal Life Saving’s campaign of EVERYONE CAN BE A LIFESAVER’ is working towards ensuring that all Australians are safe at every location where there is a possibility of drowning, said Bradley. “Royal Life Saving is dedicated to turning everyday people into everyday community lifesavers. Royal Life Saving has a number of programs that give everyday Australian’s the skills through education, training, health promotion, risk management, advocacy, sport and participation and research.
The EVERYONE CAN BE A LIFESAVER campaign was officially launched today at Parliament House Canberra along with the 2006 National Drowning Report by Minister for Sport, Senator Rod Kemp. The event also included Keep Watch ambassador, ex-Olympian and parent Samantha Riley speaking about the importance of water safety.
In the past year 220 (83%) males and 45 (17%) females drowned in water ways in Australia, making males 4 times more likely than females to drown. The variety of locations where Australians drowned last year makes preventing drowning deaths a complex issue, however there are a number of effective strategies already available.
With 10 people drowning while attempting to transverse a flooded roadway, Royal Life Saving is asking people to adhere to warning signs. It is important to know local conditions, try to avoid roads prone to flooding during wet conditions and check local radio for updates when it has been raining or there is a threat of flooding.
Australians aged over 55 years were one section of the community where there was a sharp increase in the number of persons who drowned last year with 70 people drowning. This figure accounts for 26% of all drowning deaths.
A positive aspect highlighted by the 2006 National Drowning Report is the 32% reduction on the five year average of drowning in the 6-14 age group which was 8 less drowning compared with the previous year. “There is still much work to be done to achieve the target of zero drowning deaths in this age group, said Bradley. “All children can work towards becoming everyday community lifesavers by learning water safety skills through the Royal life Saving Swim and Survive Program.
Facts at a glance:
– 265 people drowned in Australia in the 2005-06 financial year.
– 220 of the people were male (83%), 45 were female (17%).
– One-third of all drowning deaths occurred in lakes, dams and lagoons away from the coast.
– The main known activities people were undertaking immediately prior to drowning were swimming/leisure activity (80 deaths). Followed by falling into the water (56 deaths).
– 10 people drowned while crossing flooded waterways.
– In the over 55 age group 70 people drowned, this is a 10% increase on the five year average.
– There were 37 deaths in the 0-4 year age group, which is a 4% increase (36 to 37) on the five year average. The majority of theses deaths (13) were in backyard swimming pools and bathtubs (9).
– State/Territory drowning figures:
- ACT: 0 drowning deaths
- NSW: 102 drowning deaths (85 male, 17 female)
- NT: 5 drowning deaths (4 male, 1 female)
- QLD: 54 drowning deaths (45 males, 9 females)
- SA: 19 drowning deaths (14 males, 5 females)
- TAS: 11 drowning deaths (11 males, 0 females)
- VIC: 41 drowning deaths (33 males, 8 females)
- WA: 33 drowning deaths (28 males, 5 females)