Facts & Figures

Summer Drowning Toll

The total number of drowning deaths this summer, as compared to this time last year

As at 21 January 2020, there have been

44

drowning deaths reported in Australia this summer

At this time last year, there were

75

drowning deaths recorded

Disclaimer: 2019/20 figures shown are derived from media reports only. As such, they should be considered interim, pending the outcome of ongoing coronial investigations. 2018/19 figures are derived from media reports and may vary from coronial statistics. Drowning statistics for Victoria are drawn from a combination of media reports and data from the Coroners Prevention Unit.
Acknowledgement:
Please acknowledge the source of this data as “Royal Life Saving 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 spokespeople are available for comment.

   
  

A message from Royal Life Saving

Justin Scarr, CEO

Tragically, the 2018-19 Summer claimed the lives of too many people in Australia.This had a devastating impact on communities, families and friends of those lost.

This summer we encourage everyone to enjoy our wonderful rivers, beaches and swimming pools, but to do so safely.

Further Analysis

Who has been most affected?

 
 
This summer, drowning deaths in Australia have been

...

Male - 39 (89%)

and

Female - 5 (11%)

0-17 years        - 6 (14%)

18-34 years      - 14 (32%)

35-64 years      - 19 (43%)

65+ years        - 3 (7%)

Age unknown - 2 (5%)

Where and how did these drowning deaths occur?

Inland (includes rivers, lakes and dams) - 18 (41%)

Coastal (includes beaches, coastal rocks and oceans) - 22 (50%)

Home swimming pools (includes home pools, portable pools) - 2 (5%)

Public and publicly accessible pools (includes aquatic facilities, resorts) -  2 (5%)

Other - 0 (0%)

Unknown - 0 (0%)

Swimming and recreating - 16 (36%)

Boating and watercraft - 8 (18%)

Falls - 2 (5%)

Diving - 6 (14%)

Other - 6 (14%)

Unknown - 6 (14%)

How are these drowning deaths distributed across Australia?

ACT  - 0 (0%)

NSW  - 21 (48%)

NT   - 1 (2%)

QLD - 6 (14%)

SA   - 1 (2%)

TAS - 1 (2%)

VIC   - 9 (20%)

WA  - 5 (11%)

Further Statistics by State

Below is a further breakdown of statistics for the more populous states - due to privacy concerns we will not publish statistics in depth for all states and territories

Reporting of drowning cases for Victoria are from the Coroner’s Prevention Unit and are open at the time of reporting therefore any further details cannot be released for ethical reasons. For further information, contact:

Life Saving Victoria - Media and Communications

Media Line: 03 9676 6970

New South Wales

SexIncidents
Male 20 (95%)
Female 1 (5%)
Unknown 0  (0%)
Age GroupIncidents
0-17 Years  2 (10%)
18-34 Years  10 (48%)
35-64 Years  6 (29%)
65+ Years   2 (10%)
Age Unknown 1 (5%)
Location/EnvironmentIncidents
Inland (includes rivers, lakes and dams)  11 (52%)
Coastal (includes beaches, coastal rocks and oceans)  9 (43%)
Home swimming pools (includes home pools, portable pools) 0 (0%)
Public and publicly accessible pools (includes aquatic facilities, resorts) 1 (5%)
Other 0 (0%)
ActivityIncidents
Swimming/Recreating 11 (52%)
Boating and Watercraft 3 (14%)
Falls 1 (5%)
Diving3 (14%)
Other 2 (10%)
Unknown 1 (5%)

Queensland

SexIncidents
Male 5 (83%)
Female 1 (17%)
Unknown 0  (0%)
Age GroupIncidents
0-17 Years 1 (17%)
18-34 Years 0  (0%)
35-64 Years 4 (67%)
65+ Years 0  (0%)
Age Unknown 1 (17%)
Location/EnvironmentIncidents
Inland (includes rivers, lakes and dams) 1 (17%)
Coastal (includes beaches, coastal rocks and oceans) 4 (67%)
Home swimming pools (includes home pools, portable pools) 1 (17%)
Public and publicly accessible pools (includes aquatic facilities, resorts) 0  (0%)
Other 0  (0%)
ActivityIncidents
Swimming/Recreating 2 (33%)
Boating and Watercraft 1 (17%)
Falls 0  (0%)
Diving0 (0%)
Other 1 (17%)
Unknown 2 (33%)

Western Australia

SexIncidents
Male 4 (80%)
Female 1 (20%)
Unknown 0  (0%)
Age GroupIncidents
0-17 Years 1 (25%)
18-34 Years 1 (25%)
35-64 Years  3 (60%)
65+ Years 0  (0%)
Age Unknown 0  (0%)
Location/EnvironmentIncidents
Inland (includes rivers, lakes and dams) 2 (40%)
Coastal (includes beaches, coastal rocks and oceans) 3 (60%)
Home swimming pools (includes home pools, portable pools) 0  (0%)
Public and publicly accessible pools (includes aquatic facilities, resorts) 0  (0%)
Other 0  (0%)
ActivityIncidents
Swimming/Recreating 0  (0%)
Boating and Watercraft 1 (20%)
Falls 0  (0%)
Diving2 (40%)
Other  1 (20%) 
Unknown 1 (20%)

.

Social media:

Keep updated on water safety and drowning prevention activities by following us on:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RoyalLifeSaving (link us into a post @RoyalLifeSaving)

Twitter www.twitter.com/royallifesaving (reference the Royal Life Saving @Royallifesaving)

YouTube: www.youtube.com/RoyalLifeSavingAust (watch our extensive online video library)

Instagram: www.instagram.com/royallifesaving (tag us via @royallifesaving)

RSS Feeds: http://www.royallifesaving.com.au/rss-news-feed (Subscribe to our RSS News Feed)