4 December, 2018
Yesterday Lifesaving Victoria released the 2017-18 Drowning Report, which showed there were 107 drowning incidents last year.
Tragically, 40 of these were fatal and more than half occurred in summer alone.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said, while a reduction on the previous year’s total was encouraging there was still work to be done to achieve zero drowning deaths.
“This year’s drowning report highlights the tragedies that can occur in water. And while there was a reduction on the previous year, the 40 deaths were preventable.
“Victoria’s beaches and waterways are a huge drawcard for both locals and tourists every year. The impact on family, communities, and emergency management agencies can be devastating, and continues to be felt long after the incident,” he said.
The report was released on the 20th anniversary of Water Safety Week, where 19 aquatic agencies work together under the Play it Safe by the Water committee to increase water safety awareness.
“We need to do all we can to prevent drowning incidents and education is key,” Commissioner Crisp said.
“It is encouraging to see this year’s campaign reaching out to both local and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, who are often over represented in the drowning statistics.
“Lifesavers and the community working together on drowning prevention is a fundamental part of Water Safety Week."