80% of all drowning deaths are male

80% of all drowning deaths are male

- Royal Life Saving Society Australia & Surf Life Saving Australia

Posted on 21.09.2020

Reports published today by Australia’s two peak water safety bodies – Royal Life Saving Society Australia and Surf Life Saving Australia – highlight that males accounted for 80% of all drowning deaths last season, with risk taking behaviours around water a key issue.

The reports highlight that men taking risks by overestimating their abilities while swimming at unpatrolled locations, consuming alcohol and drugs, and not wearing a lifejacket contribute to their over-representation in drowning statistics.

Despite a decrease of 8% in overall drowning deaths compared to the previous year, tragically 248 people drowned across Australia from July 2019-June 2020, with men aged 25-34 years the most at risk demographic.

There were 125 coastal drowning deaths, 82 drowning deaths in inland waterways, and 28 in swimming pools. A further breakdown of coastal waters found 45 drowning deaths on beaches, 41 offshore and 26 at rock/cliff locations.

As published in the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2020 and Surf Life Saving National Coastal Safety Report 2020, the research findings also highlight:

  • Males accounted for 80% of all drowning deaths (93% for the 25 -34 age group)
  • Research shows that risk taking, use of alcohol and drugs, and the absence of appropriate safety precautions including lifejackets are key factors in male drowning.

“Men taking risks and overestimating abilities continues to be our greatest challenge. We urge men to look out for your mates, while holidaying, camping and boating on rivers and lakes.”

Australian Leisure Management





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