Corowa Free Press

Reducing the toll

Across the nation, last summer saw another bleak period with 90 people losing their lives in Australian waterways and swimming pools between December 1 2022 and February, 28 2023 while 281 lost their lives between July, 1 2022 and June, 30 2023.

According to the Royal Life Saving Australia National Drowning Report 2023:

• 26% of drowning deaths occurred in rivers/creeks with 68% of those people having lived within 100km of where they drowned.

• Of the deaths that occurred in rivers or creeks 37% involved alcohol, most deaths involved people aged 25 to 54 years and 81% were male.

According to research which looks into what happened immediately prior to drowning:

• 18% of people were swimming and recreating, 19% were due to an unintentional fall and 18% of people were driving through flood waters.

In terms of the Murray River:

• Victorians made up almost half (49 per cent, 24 cases) of the 49 Murray

River drowning victims over the previous decade (2012 – 13 to 2021 – 22).

Among these 49 drownings,

• 90 per cent were males,

• the majority were aged 18-44 years,

• almost half were affected by alcohol and/or drugs and,

• 41 per cent of incidents were preceded by swimming and/or recreating in the water.





McPherson Media