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New Zealand water safety sector sounds alarm bells ahead of holiday period

New Zealand water safety sector sounds alarm bells ahead of holiday period
December 13, 2017

Using a unified voice to amplify its message, New Zealand’s water safety sector is urging people to make water safety a top priority this holiday season as a bumper summer approaches.

Citing 11 more preventable fatal drownings so far this year compared to the same time last year, there are fears that these numbers could rise further as New Zealanders head out in droves to enjoy the country's beaches, rivers, lakes, swimming pools and other water spots this Christmas.

With high temperatures expected in the coming weeks - leading to increased participation across multiple environments and activities in, on and around the water - Surf Life Saving New Zealand, Coastguard and Water Safety New Zealand are concerned about the impact this could have if people don’t have the presence of mind to think about water safety for themselves, friends and family.

Water Safety New Zealand Chief Executiv Jonty Mills says drowning remains the number one cause of recreational death and the number three cause of accidental death in New Zealand.

Mill explains that the rise in fatal drownings of toddlers and under-fives is particularly disheartening, with seven occurring year to date versus a five-year average of four, stating “the only fool-proof solution is constant adult supervision and keeping toddlers at arm’s length at all times around the water."

Mills says the breadth of activities and environments makes drownings a complex problem and all Kiwis need to take responsibility for themselves and others in order to change our attitudes around water.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Chief Exectuive Paul Dalton says the long awaited summer is here at last and wants people to go out and enjoy it safely by visiting one of the 80 patrolled locations nationwide.

Dalton advises “taking a few minutes to plan a day out at the beach could just save your life. There is a very important reason why we urge people to choose a patrolled beach and swim between the flags. The fact is, it is always the safest place to swim.”

Dalton says so often, the people rescued by Surf Lifeguards have overestimated their ability and underestimated the risk and before they know it, they are in trouble.

He adds “take a moment to stop and think before entering the water and if in doubt, stay out.”

Coastguard’s Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade campaign is currently touring the country enabling people to trade their old, damaged, or out of date lifejackets for a great discount on a brand-new, quality Hutchwilco lifejacket.

For more information go to www.old4New.nz

Image courtesy of Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

17th November 2017 - WATER SAFETY NEW ZEALAND INVESTS $1.66 MILLION INTO WATER SAFETY EDUCATION

28th September 2017 - REPORT SHOWS SMALL DECREASE IN PREVENTABLE DROWNING IN NEW ZEALAND

8th September 2017 - CONCERN OVER DECLINING SWIMMING SKILLS AMONG NEW ZEALAND CHILDREN

16th March 2017 - SURF LIFESAVING NATIONALS RETURN TO CHRISTCHURCH 

5th January 2017 - SURF LIFE SAVING NEW ZEALAND WELCOMES ZERO DROWNINGS AT PATROLLED BEACHES

6th December 2016 - SURF LIFE SAVING NEW ZEALAND BEGINS SUMMER FUNDRAISING

10th November 2016 - TSB BANK AND SURF LIFE SAVING NEW ZEALAND ANNOUNCE NEW MAJOR PARTNERSHIP

25th September 2015 - COLLABORATIVE PLAN TO ADDRESS NEW ZEALAND’S HIGH DROWNING TOLL 


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