WATER SMART: Royal Life Saving Society Australia continue to promote Respect the River with focus on alcohol consumption.
WATER SMART: Royal Life Saving Society Australia continue to promote Respect the River with focus on alcohol consumption. Contributed

Swimmers warned of risks

QUEENSLAND makes up a quarter of all drownings in Australia since July 2016 a new drowning report by the Royal Life Saving Society has shown.

Of the 291 people who tragically drowned across the nation 73 of them occurred in Queensland, a 9% increase from the previous years figures.

That puts Queensland at number two for the most drowning fatalities, behind New South Wales.

Rivers, creeks and streams again prove to be the most fatal locations constituting 23% of all drownings.

The Royal Life Saving Society continues to promote its Respect the River campaign as a means for drowning prevention in regional areas with a renewed focus on alcohol and drug consumption.

Royal Life Saving Society CEO Justin Scarr said drowning figures peak during the warmer months of the year.

"Analysis highlights the risks of swimming in unpatrolled locations, risk taking by young men, and the need for water safety awareness among high risk populations,” Mr Scarr said.

"A drowning risk assessment must be part of regular medical check-ups for adults aged 45 years and over, whether or not they are regular water users.

"Australians must be encouraged to choose safer places such as public aquatic facilities.”

Mr Scarr also highlighted the need for senior Australians to also remain vigilant around waterways with a 38% increase in drownings of people aged over 75.

"Royal Life Saving highlights the need for all senior Australians to be aware of the increased drowning risk associated with pre-existing medical conditions and the dangers of swimming alone,” Mr Scarr said.


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