266 people drowned in Australian waterways last financial year
266 people drowned in Australian waterways last financial year Christopher Chan GLA281211LIFE

Drownings down but men at greater risk

MORE than 200 Australians drowned in pools, dams, rivers and in the sea last financial year, and the majority were men.

That was one of the key findings from the Royal Life Saving national drowning report for this year, released on Tuesday.

Overall, the report found a 10% fall in the number of drownings, down to 266 in 2013-14 from 295 the previous year.

But it also highlighted that 81% of drownings were men, and 61 of the 87 drownings among Australians older than 55 were also men.

Across locations, 39% of drownings were in inland waterways, at 105 of all deaths, and swimming pools accounted for 70% of all deaths in children five years old or younger.

RLS chief executive Justin Scarr said action was still needed on teaching all Australians to swim and be safe around water.

He also said alcohol was a crucial factor of drowning in many instances, particularly among men aged 15 to 45. It accounted for about 18% of all deaths by drowning.

Key Findings:

266 people drowned in Australian waterways between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014

215 (81%) males and 51 (19%) females drowned

20 (8%) children aged 0-4 years drowned

10 (4%) children aged 5-14 years drowned

40 (15%) young people aged 15 to 24 years drowned

87 (33%) people aged 55 years and over drowned

Source: Royal Life Saving national drowning report, 2014.


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