The Australian coast is extensive with close to 12,000 beaches and 59,736 km of coastline. Spending time at beaches, on rock platforms and in the ocean is a popular pastime, with our coast being internationally recognised and making a significant economic contribution through the domestic and international tourism sectors.
Preventing drowning at beaches, oceans and rocks is a priority because coastal environments are dynamic and create diverse opportunities for recreation. They also present a variety of risks and hazards making coastal safety management complex, reaffirming beaches, oceans and rocks as priority locations for drowning prevention.
Too often, people visiting the coast do not recognise or underestimate the associated risks and hazards, exposing themselves and others to dangers unnecessarily. In addition, coastal environments record relatively high numbers of non-drowning-related fatalities, including interactions with wildlife and medical episodes or injuries, many of which are also preventable.