Drowning has killed 266 in past year. Time to act

LEADING drowning prevention advocate Katherine Plint wants to see the annual rate of deaths in the nation's waterways, pools and beaches halved each year until the figure is zero.

Over the past year there were 266 drowning deaths recorded across the nation - 29 less than the previous year.

New South Wales recorded 90 deaths and Queensland 60 deaths.

Alarmingly, drownings in rivers, creeks and streams accounted for 39% of all drowning deaths that occurred in regional areas across the nation.

Mrs Plint, who is the founder of Hannah's Foundation, said the Royal Life Saving Society report into drowning deaths had revealed some alarming spikes in certain age groups.

She said unfortunately males still accounted for 81%, or 215, of the total number of drowning deaths last year.

"One very concerning aspect of the report was the number of drowning deaths in the 15- to 24-year-old bracket," she said.

"We lost 40 people in that age group last year.

"They were generally males and in the majority of cases alcohol was a contributing factor."

Mrs Plint said it was great there was a reduction of in the number of deaths year-on-year, but more still could be done to prevent these unnecessary deaths.

She said non-fatal immersions also had devastating effects on families.

"One aspect of the report did not highlight was the number of non-fatal immersions last year," she said.

"We are a seeing more and more of these each year.

"Especially when an older sibling is meant to be supervising a younger sibling." 


  • Rivers, creeks and streams
  • Swimming pools
  • Beaches



  • Swimming and recreation - 24%
  • Falls into water - 21%
  • Watercraft incidents - 16%