State Programs


Sinkers (NSW Education Campaign)

Royal Life Saving NSW, in partnership with the NSW Government collaborated on the “Sinkers” Campaign, aimed at reducing alcohol related drowning in people aged 15-29. The “Sinkers” campaign fronted by Channel 9 Journalist Erin Molan, Pro Surfer Ellie Jean Coffey, Pro Skateboarder and TV Presenter Corbin Harris and Actor Dan Ewing, set out to inspire Gen Y to let people know alcohol and water do not mix.

Alcohol is a factor in 41% of drowning deaths in people aged 15-29* and can happen anywhere and at any time: Swimming; surfing; boating; fishing; sailing; camping by the river; even in the backyard pool. “Sinkers” tackled the issue head on using social media to talk to young Australians.

Further details for the Sinkers campaign can be viewed here.

*Reference: Swim Safe Swim Sober Report (2008) - A study examining drowning in NSW and the influence of alcohol

Swim Safe Swim Sober - (NSW Online Educational Program)

Challenging and engaging secondary students about the consequences of mixing alcohol and water.

The Swim Safe Swim Sober Online Program is an innovative online educational experience that is designed for NSW secondary school students. The program draws upon a broad range of alcohol issues and utilises aquatic themes to explore risk-taking behaviour, resilience, personal attitudes and beliefs, personal relationships, refusal skills, contingency planning and ethical decision making.

The Swim Safe Swim Sober Online Program has been developed to specifically meet key syllabus outcomes and will challenge students in a creative technology based platform.

Its flexible design provides classroom teachers with the opportunity to deliver Swim Safe Swim Sober as an “in class facilitated experience” or as a “blended class, home learning program”.

The Swim Safe Swim Sober Online Program is hosted on the Royal Life Saving Society eLearning system and contains 5 modules:

1.    Introduction
2.    Impacts and Effects
3.    Be the Influence
4.    Alcohol Facts
5.    Protect Yourself

Don't Drink and Drown (WA Education Campaign)

The Don't Drink and Drown Campaign started in Western Australia in 2004 with the aim to reduce the rate of alcohol-related drowning (fatal and non-fatal) in young people aged 15-24 years in Western Australia.

Don't Drink and Drown is proudly supported by the Department of Health Western Australia.

Key objectives:

  1. Increase awareness and knowledge amongst young people of the adverse relationship between alcohol consumption and participating in aquatic activity.
  2. Increase self-reported behaviours (harm reduction strategies) to prevent alcohol-related drowning.

Further details for the WA Don't Drink and Drown Campaign can be viewed here.

Innovative events have been hosted to promote the important message including at WA School Leaver's activities.

WA School Leaver's successfully participated in the Mannequin Challenge at the 2016 Meelup Beach Day for the Royal Life Saving program Don't Drink and Drown as demonstrated below.

Don't Drink Grog and Drown (WA Education Campaign)

The Don’t Drink Grog and Drown program is a Pilbara based initiative that was created to address the high drowning rates and alcohol consumption in the region. Like the Perth based program, Don’t Drink Grog and Drown aims to educate young people aged 15-24 on the dangers of drinking alcohol and participating in aquatic activity and therefore reduce the incidence of alcohol-related drowning deaths and injuries in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Western Australians within the Pilbara region.

Don’t Drink Grog and Drown uses a number of different strategies to engage and educate the target group:

  • Annual mass media campaigns - radio and print.
  • Promotions and activities at youth events
  • School presentations
  • Educational and promotional resources

Further details for the WA Don't Drink  Grog and Drown Campaign can be viewed here.


National Drowning Reports

Every year, Royal Life Saving produces a National Drowning Report. This report examines the factors that contribute to drowning deaths in Australia by examining who, where, when and how people have drowned in Australian waterways over the last year. Royal Life Saving has produced a National Drowning Report every year since 1995. Risks factors including prior consumption of drugs and alcohol form part of these report findings.

To view the National Drowning Reports please click here.

Drowning in NSW Waterways: Men aged 25 to 35 years

This report analyses the contributing risk factors of drowning among men aged 25 – 34 years in NSW over a 10 year period.

Between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2015 (a period of 10 financial years), 121 men aged 25-34 years drowned in NSW waterways. This represents 11.8% of all drowning deaths in NSW during this time period with a crude drowning rate of 2.4 per 100, 000 men aged 25 to 34 years.

A number of key risk factors emerged, including alcohol and drug use.

To view the full report please click here.

Swim Safe Swim Sober Report (2007)

This report presents a statistical description of the burden of alcohol-related drowning deaths within New South Wales.

Information for this report was collected by Royal Life Saving NSW using the National Coroners Information System (NCIS) and Coronial offices for the period 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2007. Information provided includes only unintentional drowning deaths and as such does not include suicide, homicide, natural death (such as cardiac arrest), shark attack, or hypothermia where known.

Population statistics by age and sex within New South Wales were collected from the ABS population data.

The drowning rate was then calculated by dividing the drowning deaths identified within each category by the population in the same category and multiplied by 100,000. This enabled drowning deaths in New South Wales to be examined by the rate per 100,000 people by age and sex.

To view the full report and its findings please click here.