Each year more than 280 people die due to drowning, with many more admitted to hospital following a non‐fatal drowning incident. 41% of drowning occurs in coastal environments (beaches, ocean and rocks), 36% in rivers and lakes, and 61% outside of major cities. Males drown at a rate four times that of females and one‐year‐old toddlers record the highest drowning rate of any age.
The Australian Water Safety Strategy (AWSS) plays an essential role in National, State and Territory, and community approaches to preventing drowning and promoting safe use of the nation’s waterways and swimming pools.
It outlines priority areas where Australia’s peak water safety bodies Royal Life Saving and Surf Life Saving, and AWSC Members can work together to prevent drowning on beaches, at rivers and lakes, and in swimming pools across Australia.
In launching the Australian Water Safety Strategy, Justin Scarr, Convenor of the Australian Water Safety Council says, “The previous Australian Water Safety Strategy proved effective with the fatal drowning rate reducing by 26% over the last ten years and drowning in children aged 0‐4 years reducing by 50%, however drowning remains unacceptably high, impacting more than 280 families each year”.