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New data reveals dam drowning risk

New data reveals dam drowning risk
July 19, 2021

Coinciding with Farm Safe Week, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia has released data which shows that more than 100 people drowned in dams in Australia in the past 10 years.

Drawn from Coronial reports and compiled as part of Farm Safe Week to highlight the risks to people living and working on properties with dams, rivers or other water bodies, Royal Life Saving Chief Executive, Justin Scarr says the release of the date shows that rural properties carry very specific drowning risks across the lifespan, from children, to employees working on farms and older farmers.

Scarr advised “in our most recent drowning report, 32% of dam drowning deaths were work-related. Exposure to water in irrigation, aqua-culture and working stock can increase drowning risks on farms.

“The other most at-risk group of drowning on farms is small children. Children love the water and it only takes a moment for a tragedy to occur.

“The risk is heightened on farms because of the large size and remote location of properties, and the fact that it is not always feasible to fence off large bodies of water.

“There are ways to reduce the risk of drowning and we would ask everyone on farms to take action to protect themselves and the people they love.”

These measures include:

  • Create safe play areas for children on rural properties which have access to inland waterways, especially dams on private/ residential properties.
  • Fill in any unused holes where water can gather such as ditches, dips and postholes.
  • Water storage such as wells and tanks should be securely covered.
  • Never undertake work near a dam or river alone.
  • Refresh your CPR training, particularly in remote locations.
  • Install clear safety signage.
  • Talk to guests, or workers visiting your property about where dams and rivers are located.

Farm Safe Week is staged from 18th to 24th July.

Click here more information on drowning preventation.

Image: Spillway at the Clarrie Hall Dam in northern NSW.

Related Articles

18th June 2021 - Royal Life Saving NSW opens new Aquatic Academy in north-western Sydney

17th May 2021 - Royal Life Saving’s Justin Scarr sees opportunities for aquatic facility infrastructure in Federal budget

13th May 2021 - Study highlights coastal drowning risk among visitors and recent overseas arrivals in South Australia

4th May 2021 - Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguards Association conference to explore reversing rising summer drowning toll

30th April 2021 - United Nations passes first ever Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention

9th April 2021 - Australian Water Safety Council seeks local government backing to help reduce drownings

25th March 2021 - New Water Safety Strategy sets out plan to significantly cut Australia’s drowning rate

23rd November 2020 - Royal Life Saving’s latest Keep Watch campaign highlights tragic drowning toll among children aged under 12 months

21st October 2020 - Blacktown City Council launches Drowning Prevention Strategy

30th September 2020 - CQU researcher seeks input with study into drowning prevention strategies

18th September 2020 - Royal Life Saving and Surf Life Saving Australia report males account for 80% of all drowning deaths

30th July 2020 - New research has potential to reduce risk of drownings at Australian aquatic facilities

20th July 2020 - New inclusive, accessible playground opens at Manly Dam

19th March 2020 - Drownings fall across Australian summer of extremes

5th December 2019 - AUSTSWIM receives funding boost to combat multicultural drownings

2nd December 2019 - Victorian drowning report shows worst toll in 20 years

16th September 2019 - Rising drowning deaths coincide with record summer temperatures

5th October 2017 - Tweed Shire Council concerned over ‘illegal waterslide’ at NSW’s Clarrie Hall dam

24th March 2016 - Royal Life Saving highlights river safety for Easter long weekend

23rd February 2016 - Royal Life Saving warns of drowning dangers in inland water


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