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Summer Drowning Deaths Increase With Record Temps

64 people have drowned across Queensland in 2018/19, with men outnumbering women when it comes to drowning deaths.  

Figures published by Royal Life Saving Society – Australia and Surf Life Saving Australia reveal the figure in Queensland represented a 12% reduction on the 10 year average.  

276 people drowned across Australia from July 2018 to June 2019, representing a 10% increase on the previous year.

Of these, 123 deaths (45%) occurred over the summer period, which is a 17% increase compared with the 10‐year average.

Overall, 101 drowning deaths occurred in inland waterways and 31 in swimming pools. There were 122 coastal drowning deaths, which includes 71 on beaches, 22 at rock/cliff locations and 18 offshore. Over 80% of total drowning deaths were male.

The reports were released today by the Hon Senator Richard Colbeck, the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, and the Minister for Youth and Sport, at Parliament House, Canberra.

The Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report identified 64 drowning deaths occurred across Queensland in 2018/19, 86% of which were males and 39% were in rivers and creeks.

Nine children under the age of five drowned, reinforcing the importance of supervising children around water.

Royal Life Saving Queensland CEO Paul Barry said “Royal Life Saving is urging Queenslanders to supervise children around water, ensure their pool fence is in good working order in the lead up to summer, and to create safe play areas for children on properties with dams”.

32% of Queensland drowning deaths were young adults between the ages of 18 to 34 years.

“The report reinforces the importance of ensuring all Australians have the swimming and water safety skills to enjoy our beautiful waterways safely” said Mr Barry.

The SLSA National Coastal Safety Report 2019 identified 23 coastal deaths occurred across Queensland in 2018/19, above the 15 year average of 19, and equal to last year.

Swimming and wading (57%) and snorkelling (17%) were the two key activities at the time of the incident.

To stay safe around water, Royal Life Saving and Surf Life Saving Australia urge all Australians to:
 Supervise children at all times around water
 Learn swimming and lifesaving skills
 Wear a lifejacket when boating, rock fishing or paddling
 Swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags
 Avoid alcohol and drugs around water