Victorians are being urged to be vigilant with young children around water this summer after a new report revealed those aged 0-4 continue to be at risk of drowning or close calls.
Launching Water Safety Week today, Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett released the 2014-15 Drowning Report at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
In 2014-15, four children aged 0-4 died from drowning, and there were at least another 20 near drownings. Most of these drownings occur around the home – in bathtubs, spas and private swimming pools.
The report also found that men are at greatest risk of drowning, particularly those aged between 15 and 64 years. Of the 39 deaths in 2014-15, 35 were men. Alcohol and risky behaviour were major contributing factors.
Nine people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities drowned, compared to three in 2013-14.
Overall, the number of drowning deaths decreased from 47 in 2013-14 to 39 in 2014-15. The majority of these drownings occurred in coastal waterways (49%), followed by inland waterways (31%).
Ms Garrett said the report was a tragic reminder to stay safe around the water this summer.
As part of Water Safety Week, Life Saving Victoria will host a range of activities across metropolitan and regional Victoria.
Over summer Consumer Affairs Victoria will be inspecting traders selling dangerous and potentially deadly inflatable pools or swimming toys.
Banned products will be seized on sight and companies could face fines of up to $1.1 million.
In December 2014, Consumer Affairs Victoria removed more than 22,000 portable pools from sale because they failed to show proper warnings.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services and Consumer Affairs Jane Garrett
“The loss of a loved one through drowning is a tragedy. With summer on our doorstep, we want to make sure everyone stays safe around the water.”
“Thousands of people enjoy Victoria’s waterways every year and we want people to take care and look out for each other this summer.”
“Always supervise children around water and make sure home pools are properly fenced. Everyone can play a role in ensuring our kids are safe around the water.
Reviewed 10 February 2021