The recently released Royal Life Saving Society – Australia (RLSSA) National Drowning Report 2011 reveals 315 people drowned in the past 12 months. Drowning deaths are now at their highest level since 2003 and have jumped by 11% when compared to the 5 year average. Rob Bradley, CEO of Royal Life Saving Society Australia (RLSSA) says “the new report highlights the challenges of reducing drowning in line with the Australian Water Safety Council’s (AWSC) goal of a 50% reduction by the year 2020”.
Whilst 2011 figures have been impacted by the significant flash flooding events and widespread flooding across the eastern states of Australia and there is no specific information regarding drownings in leisure facilities (only swimming pool locations), this report serves as a reminder of the important role that leisure facilities must play in reducing drowning across Australia to achieve the AWSC 2020 goal.
The role leisure facilities have to play focuses around learn to swim and water safety awareness and education programs. So who and what should be our focus? Let’s look at the statistics to work this out.