Facts & Figures

NSW Summer Drowning Toll

The total number of drowning deaths this summer, as compared to the same period last year

As at 12 December 2018, there have been


drowning deaths reported in New South Wales

At this time last year, there were


drowning deaths recorded

For the national toll, please click here

Disclaimer: 2018/19 figures shown are derived from media reports only. As such, they should be considered interim, pending the outcome of ongoing coronial investigations. 2017/18 figures are derived from media reports and may vary from coronial statistics.
Please acknowledge the source of this data as “Royal Life Saving NSW Summer Drowning Toll”
Media contacts: For any media requests, please call Ross Woodward at Media Key on 0409 420 112 or 03 9769 6488. A range of Royal Life Saving staff are available for comment.


A message from the NSW Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services

The Hon. Troy Grant MP

Tragically, each summer there are too many lives lost to fatal drowning across NSW, with many more families impacted for life by non-fatal drownings.

The NSW Government is committed to improving water safety and reducing the number of preventable deaths and serious injuries in the water. We want everyone to enjoy our beautiful beaches, rivers and pools and be water safe, not sorry.

Further Analysis

Who has been most affected?

This summer, drowning deaths in New South Wales have been


80% Male


20% Female

0-17 years        - 0%

18-34 years       - 20%

35-64 years      - 20%

65+ years         - 40%

Age Unknown   - 20%

Where and how did these drowning deaths occur?

Inland (includes rivers, lakes, dams) - 60%

Coastal (includes beaches, coastal rocks, oceans) - 40%

Home swimming pools (includes home pools, portable pools) - 0%

Public and publicly accessible pools (includes aquatic facilities, resorts) - 0%

Other - 0%

Swimming and recreating - 40%

Boating and watercraft - 0%

Falls - 0%

Other - 20%

Unknown - 40%

Disclaimer: Due to rounding, percentages quoted may not total 100%

NSW Non-fatal Drowning Indicators*

Last summer, there were


emergency department (ED) presentations

(1 December 2017 to 28 February 2018)

In December of last summer, there were


ED presentations  

(1 to 31 December 2017)

So far this summer,


ED presentations have been recorded

(1 to 31 December 2018 - data not yet available)

*Emergency department (ED) presentations to 66 NSW public hospitals for unintentional drowning events, of which 99% were non-fatal (1 July 2013 to 31 October 2018).
Source: PHREDSS, Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health (data updated 26/11/2018). Data will be updated monthly, with the next update in mid-January 2019.



Social media:

Water Safety NSW: Website

Royal Life Saving NSW: Website - Facebook - Twitter - YouTube - Instagram - RSS

Surf Life Saving NSW: Website - Facebook - Twitter - YouTube - Instagram

Marine Rescue NSW: Website - Facebook - Twitter