Drowning Risks in Adults
Royal Life Saving research shows that males continue to be at greater risk of drowning. We have also identified that young males and adults aged 65+years are at most risk of drowning in adulthood.

Males continue to be over-represented in drowning statistics. This trend is especially apparent during adolescence and early adulthood, a time of increasing independence. Drowning is often attributed to higher exposure due to increased participation rates, inflated confidence levels that may not reflect abilities, the influence of peer pressure and an increased likelihood to engage in risk-taking behaviours.

Preventing drowning in young males (15-29 years) is a priority in the Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030.

The drowning rate for 19-year-old-males is nine times higher than 12-year-old males. There are seven times as many male drowning deaths as females in this age group.

Drowning deaths in young people
Young people (15-24 years) drown every year in Australia, on average (2002-2022)
Of drowning deaths in young people are male
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Rivers and beaches are the leading locations for drowning in this age group
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Swimming and recreating is the leading activity being undertaken prior to drowning
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Alcohol (BAC ≥0.05%) and illegal drugs are a contributing factor to drowning among this age group
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Respect the River Program
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