Spike In Drowning Deaths Pinned On COVID-Lockdown

Up 20 per cent

Article heading image for Spike In Drowning Deaths Pinned On COVID-Lockdown

The Lighthouse

A rise in drowning deaths across Australia has been blamed on COVID and related lockdowns according to life saving organisations.

An annual report released from Royal Life Saving Society Australia and Surf Life Saving Australia revealed 294 drowning deaths across the nation's coastline, inland waterways, and pools in 2020/21.

Up by a sizeable 20 per cent since the previous 12 month reporting period, the latest figures include 39 drownings in Western Australia.

The Western Australia Briefing

The report detailed that due to large-scale lockdowns, Australians are holiday making within their own backyards, with locals hitting up to remote areas to escape the crowds, it read, with a tendency to swim outside of patrolled hours and taking more day trips to isolated beaches, rivers, or lakes.

Royal Lifesaving Society CEO Justin Scarr believes with the closure of public pools impacted by COVID many kids are missing out on vital water safety lessons.

"Royal Lifesaving is utterly concerned that there is a generation of kids that will almost never learn to swim. So, it’s really important that we teach our children to swim, so as soon as pools are open re-enrol your children in Learn to Swim"

- Justin Scarr

Lauren Nimmo from WA's Royal Life Saving Society has urged people to take extra care around beaches and waterways.

"People need to consider drowning and water safety as a high priority particularly when they are travelling to other areas of Western Australia that they may not be familiar with"

- Lauren Nimmo

Ms Nimmo said WA residents need to ensure "that they're not complacent when it comes to the safety of themselves, their family and their friends, when its around water".

Authorities are addressing several drowning prevention strategies ahead of summer.


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Hit News Team

8 September 2021

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