Media Room

Video Community Safety Announcement (CSA)

As part of this campaign, a Video Community Service Announcement has been developed for TV Stations and Social Media across Australia to promote the important Respect the River messages. If you want to use the recorded CSA or Script please use the links below to download to help us promote this important message.


 

Radio Community Safety Announcement

As part of this campaign, a Radio Community Service Announcement has been developed for Radio Stations across Australia to promote the important Respect the River Messages. If you want to use the recorded CSA or Script please use the links below to download to help us promote this important message.

Media File: Please click here to download the Radio Community Service Announcement


Media Release
Royal Life Saving Launches "Respect the River"

New Royal Life Saving research shows 996 people have drowned in Australian rivers since 1 July 2002 as Royal Life Saving launches a major educational campaign called "Respect the River".

Rivers now account for over one quarter of all drowning deaths (26%), making rivers the leading location for drowning in Australia. Nationally over the past 13 years, 35% of river drowning deaths are known to have involved alcohol.

Royal Life Saving CEO Justin Scarr says “The large number of people drowning in our rivers, creeks and streams is alarming. In launching the Respect the River campaign, Royal Life Saving aims to raise awareness of the sheer number of people drowning in our rivers every year and the preventable nature of these tragedies.”

“Rivers can be very hazardous environments.  Often you cannot see ice cold water, snags like tree branches or strong currents.  They can be lethal. We are asking people to follow four simple steps to reduce their drowning risk in rivers: wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol around water, never swim alone and learn how to save a life. It’s simple, Respect the River” says Justin Scarr CEO Royal Life Saving.

Royal Life Saving Society – Australia, with the support of the Federal Government, is implementing the Respect the River campaign across the nation’s top 10 river drowning black spots which are: the Murray River, the Brisbane River, the Yarra River, the Swan River, the Hawkesbury River, the Murrumbidgee River, Sandy Creek, the Derwent River, the Katherine River and the Macquarie River.

Respect the River LaunchThe Respect the River campaign was officially launched by the Hon Sussan Ley MP Minister for Sport and Minister for Health and Royal Life Saving CEO Justin Scarr on Sunday 25th October at Noreuil Park Boat Ramp.

As part of the Respect the River campaign Royal Life Saving released a series of community service announcements on TV, radio, print and online to alert people of the dangers that rivers pose, and also advising on how to enjoy them safely.  These are supported by a range of fact sheets, educational activities and a series of video testimonials from local safety personnel and river users.

Also, as part of the Respect the River campaign Royal Life Saving is partnering with local stakeholder groups to drive geographically based drowning action plans which include visiting schools and talking to communities, campers, boat users and recreational water users advising them on how to stay safe this summer.

The Murray River Drowning Report, released by Royal Life Saving Society – Australia today shows that 68 people lost their lives due to drowning in the Murray River since 1 July 2002, making the Murray the number one river drowning black spot in Australia.

90% of all drowning victims in the Murray River are male, with the 45-54 years age group accounting for almost one fifth of all drowning deaths (19%). Watercraft incidents accounted for the largest proportion of drowning deaths (31%). This was followed by swimming and recreating (24%) and incidents involving non-aquatic transport (13%).

Alcohol was known to be involved in over one third of all drowning deaths (40%), with one in five drowning victims recording a Blood Alcohol Content reading of twice the legal limit or higher (0.1mg/L).

“Australian rivers are beautiful and can be great places to recreate, from boating to swimming to kayaking and even enjoying the environment along the river bank. We want everyone to enjoy these beautiful natural environments but to do so safely, by showing rivers the respect they deserve” says Justin Scarr CEO, Royal Life Saving Society – Australia.

A range of spokespeople are available to speak to this release including Justin Scarr, CEO & Amy Peden, National Manager – Research & Policy (author of the Murray River Drowning Report).

Media enquiries to Media Key on 03 9769 6488


Key Facts 

Royal Life Saving River Research Key Findings
  • 735 people have drowned in Australian rivers, creeks and streams between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2012
  • Men account for 80% of all drowning deaths in rivers across the decade
  • New South Wales recorded the highest number of drowning deaths with 246 drowning deaths, followed by Queensland with 219 and Victoria with 98 river drowning deaths
  • Falls into water accounted for 20% of river drowning deaths, followed by accidents involving non-aquatic transport (18%), swimming and recreating (15%) and accidents involving watercraft (14%). Activity was unknown in 18% of river drowning deaths.
  • 17% of all river drowning deaths took place in remote or very remote areas of Australia
  • 17% of all river drowning deaths were known to be flood related.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders drown in rivers at a rate that is 4.5 times that of the non-Indigenous population

Royal Life Saving Top 10 River Drowning Black Spots

  1. Murray River
  2. Brisbane River (QLD)
  3. Yarra River (VIC)
  4. Swan River (WA)
  5. Hawkesbury River (NSW)
  6. Murrumbidgee River (NSW)
  7. Sandy Creek (QLD)
  8. Derwent River (TAS)
  9. Katherine River (NT)
  10. Macquarie River (NSW)

Report Download

To access a full copy of the report click here - Drowning Deaths in Australian Rivers, Creeks and Streams: A 10 Year Analysis.

Royal Life Saving Rivers 10 Year ReportRoyal Life Saving Rivers 10 Year Report - Infographic