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Dramatic research released by Royal Life Saving today highlights the significant and growing issue of drowning in older people in Australia. The report is the first of its kind to be released in Australia.

The Report, titled Drowning Deaths in Older People: A 10 year analysis of drowning in people aged 50 years and over in Australia, found that 1,072 people aged 50 years and over have drowned in Australian waterways between 2002 and 2012. This represents 36% of all drowning deaths during this period.

Older men are three times more likely to drown than women. Alcohol was known to be involved in 37% of all drowning deaths among older people. In 61% of alcohol-related drownings, the victim recorded a Blood Alcohol Content equal to or above 0.05mg/L.

Royal Life Saving Society – Australia CEO Justin Scarr says “for many people, losing a parent or grandparent to drowning is as tragic as losing a child. Similar efforts that were successful in reducing child drowning must now be applied to stop drowning in people over the age of 55 years.”

Underlying medical conditions such as cardiac conditions, epilepsy and dementia are known to increase drowning risk, which is further compounded by the mixing of alcohol with prescribed medications.

In releasing this Report, Royal Life Saving today is also launching a new campaign. Called ‘The Talk’, the campaign encourages people to talk to their parents and grandparents about how to reduce their risk of drowning through some simple safety measures.

Justin Scarr says “For many years Royal Life Saving has been urging people to consider the safety of children around water, but what this research shows is that increasingly families should be concerned about preventing drowning in those over the age of 55 years”.

Media Release - Full Details

Click here to download the full National Media Release for Drowning Deaths in Older People

Image Gallery

Images for "The Talk" Over 55s Drowning Prevention Campaign

Royal Life Saving. The Talk Campaign          Royal Life Saving. The Talk Campaign         Royal Life Saving The Talk Campaign

RLS The Talk Image 1                         RLS The Talk Image 2                    RLS The Talk Image 3

Images for the Royal Life Saving Grey Medallion Program including CPR Demonstrations  

Grey Medallion Program          Grey Medallion Program         Grey Medallion CPR

RLS Grey Medallion 1                           RLS Grey Medallion 2                   RLS Grey Medallion CPR 1    

       Grey Medallion CPR

 RLS Grey Medallion CPR 2  


* Please ensure these images are credited to the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia. Note, these images are not for commercial usage or sale.