World Drowning Prevention Day 2024
Anyone can drown, no one should.

On July 25, people across the world mark World Drowning Prevention Day.

In April 2021, the United Nations adopted the historic first Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention, recognising the scale of the problem and calling for coordinated action to prevent drowning.

Drowning is an issue that affects every nation of the world. Globally, an estimated 236,000 people lost their lives to drowning in 2019.

In Australia hundreds of families lose loved ones to drowning every year.

Eighty percent of those who drown are male.

Drowning is inequitable

Drowning has been the cause of over 2.5 million preventable deaths in the last decade. It is a significant international issue that to date has been largely unrecognised relative to its impact.

More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in rivers, lakes, wells, domestic water storage vessels and swimming pools in low- and middle-income countries, with children and adolescents in rural areas disproportionately affected.

Drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children and young people aged 1-24 years in every region of the world.

Landmarks Go Blue to Prevent Drowning

From 1st July 2021 to 30 June 2022, 339 people drowned in Australian waterways. Sadly, 82% of drowning deaths were male.

On Tuesday 25 July 2023, landmarks across Australia turned blue to both remember those who have been lost to drowning, and as a reminder that “anyone can drown, but no one should”.

“Drowning does not discriminate; whether you are eight months old or eighty, living in a capital city or a country town, drowning is a significant risk,” Justin Scarr, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Life Saving Australia.

“World Drowning Prevention Day is a chance for everyone to reflect on what they can do to protect themselves and the people they love from drowning.

“The blue light on landmarks is significant and we thank all those organisations who are supporting World Drowning Prevention Day in this way.

Landmarks around Australia turning blue include:

  • ACT - National Film and Sound Archive, John Gorton Building, Old Parliament House, The National Carillion, The Treasury Building, Questacon, Ian Potter Learning Centre
  • NT – Darwin Convention Centre, City of Darwin Civic Centre, The fountain on Speaker’s Green Parliament House, The Palmerston Water Tower, Recreation Centre, Library and Frances Light Pole.
  • QLD – Brisbane Story Bridge, Townsville Sign, Victoria Bridge, Wharton Reef Lighthouse, George Roberts Bridge, Old Magistrates Court House, Central Park Boardwalk, Little Fletcher Bridge, Tropical Dome, Wickham Terrace Car Park, City Hall, The Redcliff Place Steam Sculptures.
  • SA – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Riverbank Footbridge
  • TAS –Wrest Point Hotel, Hobart Waterfront and Tasman Bridge.
  • VIC – Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne City Baths
  • WA – Matagarup Bridge (the new bridge crossing to Optus Stadium), Council House, Joondalup Driver Bridge, Mount Street Bridge, Northbridge Tunnel, Sky Ribbon, Mandurah Bridge, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre

On World Drowning Prevention Day we can all take action to prevent drowning

  • Enrol in swimming lessons
  • Supervise children
  • Check pool fence and gate
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs around water
  • Wear a lifejacket
  • Know the conditions
  • Become a pool lifeguard
  • Learn CPR
  • Become a swim teacher

Every small step we take can help save lives.

We are asking Aquatic Facilities across Australia to help promote World Drowning Prevention Day

We have a range of online marketing resources to promote World Drowning Prevention Day for all communication channels and to display at aquatic facilities. This content includes: Website, Social Media and Video Content.

Be sure to tag #DrowningPrevention, including for World #DrowningPrevention Day and @RoyalLifeSaving in social media posts.