Don’t be a drowning statistic

Don’t be a drowning statistic

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Don’t drink and drown coordinator Joe Down with Dippy Duck. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

While the message of water safety is important all year round the Royal Lifesaving Society WA has urged West Australians to think about their strategies for keeping family members safe around water this summer.

Keep Watch coordinator Stephanie Green said it was vital to keep water safety front of mind especially with children and older members of the family who were at a higher risk of drowning.

“When visiting unfamiliar environments with children during the holidays it’s important to assess water safety risks,” she said.

“Ensure children are actively supervised within arm’s reach at all times as they are likely to be excited about enjoying new water play spaces.”

Ms Green said last year 37 people drowned in WA and a further 117 were hospitalised following a non-fatal drowning.

“Since October there have been 11 drowning deaths recorded in WA,” she said.

“Drowning occurs all year around but is most likely to occur in the spring or summer months when the weather is warmer and people are around the water more regularly.

“On average 33 per cent of drowning deaths occur in summer, 27 per cent in spring, 24 per cent in autumn and 16 per cent in winter.”

Ms Green said the most common causes of accidents around water were lack of supervision in the case of childhood drownings, alcohol related incidents in young adults, failure to wear a lifejacket in fishing and boating related water accidents and falls into water for older people.

For more information and for summer drowning prevention tips visit lifesavingwa.com.au.