Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Surf Drownings Increase Due to Changing Australia

Surf Drownings Increase Due to Changing Australia
October 11, 2010

The President of Surf Educators International (SEI), Craig Riddington, says that the dramatic rise in drownings at Australia's beaches is a result of changing demographics and lifestyles in Australia.

Riddington believes there needs to be an urgent increase in education in surf and beach awareness for rural and regional communities and for specific demographic groups in metropolitan areas, explaining "last financial year there were 314 drownings in Australia, up 12% on the five year average.

"It's important that people are educated on the dangers of surf before they even go to the beach ⦠data shows that you are 200 times more likely to die swimming than driving a car when you take into consideration the amount of time taken for either activity.

"Australia puts a lot of resources into saving people when they are drowning, yet little is effectively used on actually educating those most at risk from even understanding the dangers of entering the water at a beach.

"Traditionally almost all Australian children were taught to swim and most lived near the beach where, from an early age, they learnt from their community how to understand the surf.

"Australia's demographics and lifestyles are changing and it appears that the so called natural surf culture and understanding of the surf environment has not been passed onto new generations.

"SEI educators are highly trained and accredited surf professionals who provide an understanding of the challenges of the surf and how to reduce the risk of drowning. We do not teach people to swim and we do not undertake the role of volunteer lifesavers and professional lifeguards in actually pulling people out of the surf.

"Our goal is to reduce the rate at which drowning are occurring. We believe that drowning numbers will continue to rise unless there is a focused education program introduced throughout rural and regional Australia and into particular areas in the cities.

"SEI provides accredited surf professionals who patrol our beaches and provide hands on surf education by actually understanding the real issues in the surf. Our members are not trained in the classroom, they have actually spent a life time patrolling beaches and passing on valuable education.

"We believe there must be a measurable education service provided to ensure the correct information is being taught by accredited professionals."

Riddington ('Riddo') is one of the highest profile and most successful Ironman Champions and Surf lifesaving Champions in Australia. An Australian swimming representative, Riddo collected 21 State, 12 Australian and two world championships in Ironman and Surf Lifesaving events.

A recently released book The Greatest Surf Life Savers in History hailed him as the "greatest surf swimmer ever" and among the top 25 competitors in the history of the movement.

SEI represents the following groups: SEA Australia and the Surf Educate Australia Program; The Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association (APOLA) and Council surf education programs; Bondi Rescue; Science of the Surf; Training Aid Australia; Kids Academy of Surf (KAOS); Lifeguard International as well as surf and swim schools.

For more information go to



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


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


iDwala Pty Ltd

iDwala is the Community Sports Surface Specialist offering the highest quality designs and technical expertise to Councils, Schools and Sporting Clubs looking to create sporting…

read more

Consultants / Design / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces



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


Hadley/Series Australia Pty Ltd

Hadley Australia and Series Australia Pty Ltd are the leading quality theatre chair manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. The businesses work closely with architects, interior designers and…

read more

Arts / Culture / Design / Entertainment / 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



Centaman has been a market leader in Enterprise Software Solutions for the leisure and recreation industry and both profit and not-for-profit attractions since 1991. It offers a wide range of software…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Ticketing



Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks


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