World Drowning Prevention Day 2023

The International Life Saving Federation is joining the WHO and others to encourage ILS lifesaving organisations across the world to join the campaign and promote water safety and drowning prevention at global, national and local levels.

The UN World Drowning Prevention Day aims to raise awareness on drowning as a public health issue, remind people that anyone can drown, but no one should, and raise awareness about evidence-based, low-cost drowning prevention interventions that can be used to drastically reduce the risk of drowning.

Key facts

  • Drowning has caused over 2.5 million deaths in the last decade.
  • The overwhelming majority of these deaths (90%) happen in low-and-middle-income countries.
  • Globally, the highest drowning rates occur among children aged 1–4 years, followed by children aged 5–9 years.

Key actions that can be promoted:

  • Enrol in a swimming, water safety or lifesaving class.
  • Learn how to perform a rescue and resuscitation.
  • Always wear a lifejacket when travelling on water.
  • Be aware of weather conditions and ensure any boat you are travelling in has adequate safety equipment and is in good condition.

ILS President Graham Ford AO said, “World Drowning Prevention Day is a reminder to all that anyone can drown, but no-one should. We reflect on the WHO-reported 236,000 people lost to drowning, each and every year. Lifesavers around the world dedicate much of their lives to preventing drowning, whether by protecting beaches and pools through lifeguard and rescue services, teaching swimming, water safety and lifesaving, or collaborating with governments, and other organisations”.

ILS Member Federations are encouraged to create and share their own information on what they are doing, including using the generic resources provided by WHO, with their own and the ILS logos.

Share what you are doing with the ILS using the hashtag #ILS.

You can find more information about World Drowning Prevention Day here:

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