Men take more risks around water: drowning report

ROYAL Life Saving Society CEO Justin Scarr said the latest national drowning report was a sobering reminder about the risks people take in and around the water.

The report revealed 64 people drowned in Queensland last year with almost half of those deaths occurring in the summer months.

Of those people who drowned 84% were male.

The report revealed the most common locations for drowning deaths in Queensland were rivers, creeks and streams 38%, swimming pools 19% and ocean and harbour locations 16%.

Mr Scarr said people, especially men, need to be more vigilant around water.

"Men must stop and think before taking unnecessary risks whilst they are swimming, fishing or boating with their fathers, brothers and mates this summer," he said.

"Far too many families are being impacted in a devastating way by drowning.

"Our goal is to see drowning halved by the year 2020."

Queensland drowning prevention advocate Katherine Plint said more needed to be done to educate people about the dangers water poses.

Mrs Plint founded Hannah's Foundation after her daughter drowned in the family's backyard pool in 2007.

"A lot of the older generation have this mentality if they can swim the length of a pool they can conquer anything," she said.

"Wearing a life jacket should become mandatory, especially in creeks and rivers.

"A life jacket is your seat belt on the water."

Mrs Plint said out of the 64 people who drowned in Queensland last year, 11 were children under the age of 17.

"Toddler drownings have increased since the ABC pool safety campaign ceased to be promoted by the State Government," she said.

"I call on Premier Campbell Newman and the State Government to reinstate drowning prevention messages consistently to promote supervision and barriers in saving young lives."



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