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Royal Life Saving Society – Australia published its National Drowning Report on 18th September 2020.
Each year, we are reminded that this publication is about lives not numbers. Royal Life Saving's work is to understand where, how and why drowning occurs in Australia, and what we can do to keep communities safe.
The report shows that 248 people lost their lives to drowning between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020, which represents a decrease of 8% on the previous year and a decrease of 12% on the 10-year average. It is estimated that a further 504 people experienced a non-fatal drowning incident that required hospitalisation.
Key findings include:
· 80% of all deaths were men. Men aged 25-34 years the most at-risk demographic, accounting for 93% of deaths in this age group.
· 12 children aged 0 to 4 years lost their lives to drowning in 2019/20. This represents a 37% decrease on the previous year and a 52% decrease compared with the 10-year average. Most of these deaths occurred in swimming pools and 75% of them were due to unintentional falls into water.
· 97 people drowned between December 2019 and February 2020 (39%)
·Rivers and creeks were the leading location for drowning in Australia, accounting for 21% of drowning deaths in 2019/2020.
· Swimming and recreating was the leading activity being undertaken immediately prior to drowning (25%), followed by boating (18%) and unintentional falls into water (15%).