About the campaign

Royal Life Saving research reveals that 2,760 men lost their lives due to drowning in the past 15 years, between 1 July 2003 and 30 June 2018.

Of those deaths, 18% are known to have had a contributory level of alcohol in their system. This figure has the potential to be higher, given that the blood alcohol content was unknown in a further 42% of cases.

Men are four times more likely to drown than women, with males accounting for 80% of all drowning deaths in Australia.

Royal Life Saving Society - Australia, with support of the Federal Government, is addressing these figures through "Don't Let Your Mates Drink and Drown", a national public awareness campaign. The campaign is urging men to look out for their mates and stand up to the sorts of risk taking behaviour that can lead to accidents and drowning.

A culture of risk taking behaviour among men can be dangerous around water, and when combined with alcohol and/or drugs it is often fatal.

Be like Dave

Dave is the face of the 'Don't Let Your Mates Drink and Drown' campaign. He's an all round top bloke who looks out for his mates by not letting them make stupid decisions.

Be like Dave. Look out for your mates.

Royal Life Saving recommends the following safety tips to keep your mates safe around waterways:

  1. Avoid entering the water after drinking alcohol.
  2. Know your limits.
  3. Never swim alone.
  4. Learn how to resuscitate

Key Facts

  • 2,760 men aged 18 years and over have fatally drowned between 1 July 2003 and 30 June 2018
    • 492 cases were known to have a contributory blood alcohol level (18%)
  • The average blood alcohol content of males who drowned under the influence of alcohol was 0.147
    • The highest blood alcohol content recorded was 0.523
  • 195 (40%) alcohol related drowning deaths occurred in summer.
    • The highest number of alcohol related drowning deaths occurred in January (76 deaths)
  • Of the activities resulting in drowning deaths while under the influence of alcohol, 41% were as a result of jumping in, and 32% were due to falls into water.
  • Rivers, creeks, and streams were the leading location for drink drowning, accounting for 28% of all male drowning deaths with a contributory blood alcohol level.

Campaign Materials

A range of resources have been developed as part of the campaign: