Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Report shows older Australians at risk of open water drowning

Report shows older Australians at risk of open water drowning
December 2, 2014

Dramatic new research released by Royal Life Saving Society - Australia highlights the significant and growing issue of drowning in older people in Australia.

The Report, the first of its kind to be released in Australia, found that 1,072 people aged 50 years and over have drowned in Australian waterways between 2002 and 2012.

This represents 36% of all drowning deaths during this period.

The Report, Drowning Deaths in Older People: A 10 year analysis of drowning in people aged 50 years and over in Australia, shows that older men are three times more likely to drown than women with alcohol known to be involved in 37% of all drowning deaths among older people.

In 61% of alcohol-related drownings, the victim recorded a Blood Alcohol Content equal to or above 0.05mg/L.

Royal Life Saving Chief Executive Justin Scarr says “for many people, losing a parent or grandparent to drowning is as tragic as losing a child.

“Similar efforts that were successful in reducing child drowning must now be applied to stop drowning in people over the age of 55 years.”

Underlying medical conditions such as cardiac conditions, epilepsy and dementia are known to increase drowning risk, which is further compounded by the mixing of alcohol with prescribed medications.

In releasing this Report, Royal Life Saving has launched a new campaign, ‘The Talk’ that encourages people to talk to their parents and grandparents about how to reduce their risk of drowning through some s imple safety measures.

Further information can be found on www.royallifesaving.com.au/thetalk.

Scarr states “for many years Royal Life Saving has been urging people to consider the safety of children around water, but what this research shows is that increasingly families should be concerned about preventing drowning in those over the age of 55 years”.

Drowning Deaths in Older People: A 10 year analysis of drowning in people aged 50 years and over in Australia found:

• 1,072 people aged 50 and over drowned in Australian waterways between 1st July 2002 and 30th June 2012. 
• 75% of those who drowned were males.
• Alcohol was known to be involved in 37% of drowning deaths among older people. In 61% of alcohol-related drownings, the victim recorded a Blood Alcohol Content equal to or above 0.05mg/L 
• Underlying medical conditions were known to be present in 68% of people aged 65 years and over. Common medical conditions that are known to increase the risk of drowning include cardiac conditions, epilepsy and dementia. 
• New South Wales recorded 40% (425) of all drowning deaths. 
• The Northern Territory recorded the highest rate of drowning per 100,000 population with a rate of 4.56 compared to the National average of 1.63. 
• Over one third (35%) of all drowning deaths in people aged 50 and over during the study period took place in inland waterways (rivers, creeks, lakes and dams).
• A further one fifth (20%) occurred in ocean / harbour locations. 
• Accidents involving watercraft were the leading activity prior to drowning among older people accounting for 22% of all drowning deaths. 
• Accidental falls into water accounted for a further 18% of drowning deaths among older people. 

Inland waterways such as rivers, creeks, lakes and dams accounted for the largest proportion of drowning deaths among older people in the study at 35%. Although these locations appear flat and calm, our rivers, lakes and dams are continuing to be deceptively dangerous. Scarr adds “preventing drowning deaths in older people in Australian rivers, creeks and streams will form an important component of Royal Life Saving’s drowning prevention work with communities along the country’s top 10 river drowning black spots.

“We are proud to have the support of the Federal Government in this initiative and we will take this knowledge to expand our prevention efforts to all communities engaging with inland waterways all over the nation.”

Accidents involving watercraft accounted for the largest proportion of drowning deaths in older people, at 22%. These were more common in people aged between 50 and 64 years. Accidental falls into water was the second leading activity prior to drowning in older people, accounting for 18%. Falls into water more commonly occurred in people after retirement (65 years and over).

For further information on The Talk campaign go to www.royallifesaving.com.au/thetalk.

Click here to view Drowning Deaths in Older People: A 10 year analysis of drowning in people aged 50 years and over in Australia

1st December 2014  - SURF LIFE SAVING WA SAYS BEACH DROWNING NUMBERS UNACCEPTABLE

1st October 2014 - AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT MOVES TO CUT DROWNING DEATHS

30th September 2014 - ROYAL LIFE SAVING REPORTS 'MODERATE BUT PROMISING' REDUCTION IN DROWNINGS 

21st November 2013 - SERVICE SKILLS AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES NEW CHAIR AND DEPUTY 

20th October 2012 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA FINDINGS SHOW A HEALTHIER AND FITTER FUTURE

28th June 2012 - EXERCISE PROVEN TO REDUCE AUSTRALIANS’ DIABETES RISK 

21st October 2011 - FITNESS NOT FATNESS SHOULD BE MANTRA ‚Äč

2nd September 2011 - GLOBAL GOVERNMENTS MUST ‘GET TOUGH ON OBESITY’

19th August 2009 - ONE MILLION MORE AUSTRALIANS DO REGULAR PHYSICAL EXERCISE 


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 www.ausleisure.com.au 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

MYRTHA POOLS

Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness

 
 

XBODY Australia Pty Ltd

PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

SeatGeek Asia Pacific

SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

The Pool Enclosure Company

Now TPEC Pool Enclosures - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/tpec-pool-enclosures

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation / Venues

 
 
 

TECHNOGYM AUSTRALIA

Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

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

 
 

METRA Australia

With industry leading solutions in design and durability you can improve your facilities with our access control operations, payment systems and flexible personal locker storage solutions. Your…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / 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