Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Horror year for Australian Drownings

Horror year for Australian Drownings
September 15, 2009

A horror year in which 302 Australians drowned has prompted urgent calls from the Royal Life Saving Society Australia for increased parental awareness, a greater emphasis on swimming and water safety education, and extreme caution when swimming in rivers, lakes and dams to halt the rising death toll.

In the 12 months to 30th June, the 2009 National Drowning Report shows that 41 more people drowned than in the previous year, raising the total number of drowning deaths by 16% on last year's figures. Almost all age groups recorded an increase in the number of deaths against the five year average.

Releasing the report Kate Ellis, Minister for Early Childhood Education, Child Care and Youth and Minister for Sport at Parliament House, Canberra yesterday stated "these figures released today represent an incredibly alarming trend that must be reversed.

"The Australian Government is working in partnership with Australia's outstanding water safety bodies including Royal Life Saving Society Australia to do just that.

"By working together I believe that we can make a real difference around water safety in this country."

Royal Life Saving Society Australia (RLSSA) Chief Executive Rob Bradley said the statistics were a wakeup call to all Australians about the need for water safety skills at both ends ofthe life cycle.

"Looking at the statistics for this year, there are two key groups we are very worried about: children aged 0 to 17 years old and Australians aged over 55 years.

"The message just doesn't seem to be getting through to pool owners that it is vital to check and maintain pool fences all year round to protect children under five years old from drowning in backyard pools.

"This year almost 60% of children under five who drowned lost their lives in a backyard swimming pool.

"To clarify what pool owners should be checking, as part of the Keep Watch program we have a free home pool safety checklist.

"In older children aged between five and 14, more than half of all drowning deaths occurred in rivers and almost 75% of those who died were boys.

"Once children are aged over 15 we see a big jump in drowning deaths which we believe is attributable to the collision of two factors: the fact that water safety skills haven't been drilled into them earlier and the sharp decline in direct supervision as children become more independent.

"At the other end of the age spectrum, 31% of all drowning deaths were in the 55 and older age category. Swimming and water sports generally aren't like riding a bike. (Older Australians) need to refresh their skills and keep check of how their bodies are changing so they don't find themselves in trouble."

Bradley also stressed the importance of Australians learning CPR and doing regular refresher courses every year to ensure they have the skills to save a life.

State and Territory Royal Life Saving offices can be contacted on 1300 737 763,

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


About Priava's Technology -  Priava is a cloud-based and centralised venue and event management system aimed at venues of all sizes. With its familiar and easy-to-use web interface, the…

read more

Attractions / Billing / Entertainment / Events / Technology



We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…

read more

Fitness / Play / Recreation / Sport / Wellness



Myzone is the industry’s leading wearable technology solution. Myzone’s wearable products show and reward effort when you work out. It displays accurate real-time heart rate, calories, and…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness



Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology


Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport


Pico Play

Pico Play is a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of world-class themed attractions and entertainment that deliver extraordinary and memorable experiences to millions…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Tourism


Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues



PathMinder Pty Ltd have partnered with AllUser Industries srl to bring Europe’s most advanced high security portals to the Australian and New Zealand markets. AllUser Industries started to…

read more

Access / Fitness / Recreation / Security


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business