Global Drowning Prevention - World Drowning Prevention Day

by Nichole Edsall on May 02, 2021

The United Nations (UN) passed its first ever Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention (A/75/L.76) during the seventy-fifth session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday 28th April 2021.

The Resolution was brought to the United Nations by Ireland and Bangladesh, and co-sponsored by 79 countries including Australia. 

The Resolution has been warmly welcomed by the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia, and can be celebrated by the hundreds of thousands of people who work or volunteer as lifeguards, lifesavers, and swimming instructors in communities across Australia. 

The Resolution recognises the seriousness of drowning as a public health issue especially in low- and middle-income countries.

The Resolution is inspirational in setting an agenda for countries, UN agencies including the World Health Organization, UNICEF and non-government organisations like Royal Life Saving to work together to address drowning as an under-recognised public health threat.

The Resolution:

  • is in response to deep concern that drowning has been the cause of over 2.5 million preventable deaths in the past decade but has been largely under-recognised relative to its impact.
  • notes that more than 90 per cent of deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, with Asia carrying the highest burden of drowning deaths by number.
  • notes that drowning disproportionately affects children and adolescents in rural areas, with many countries reporting drowning as the leading cause of childhood mortality.
  • clarifies that the official global estimate of 235,000 deaths per annum excludes drownings attributable to flood-related climatic events and water transport incidents, resulting in drowning deaths being underestimated by up to 50 per cent in some countries.
  • declares that the 25th July every year will be World Drowning Prevention Day and calls on all nations to develop drowning prevention plans.

You can review the resolution here:

The resolution is aligned with Royal Life Saving Society Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030 that was launched in Canberra in March 2021.


What can you do??

The 25th July will be World Drowning Prevention Day.  Assist with bringing awareness on this day to drowning prevention at your venues.  Some ideas might be: 

  • Host swim skills workshops.
  • Teach rescue techniques during swimming lessons.
  • Host a resuscitation training session for your customers.
  • Celebrate your lifeguard and swimming instructors by sharing a story about them and their contribution on community drowning prevention education.

We would love to hear your ideas and stories - email us at -