Drown­ing sea­son

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS -

SWIM­MERS have been urged not to over­es­ti­mate their abil­ity in the wa­ter over the warmer months.

Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety’s (RLSS) Na­tional Drown­ing Re­port for the 2016-17 year showed 42 peo­ple drowned in WA, with three in ev­ery four oc­cur­ring dur­ing spring and sum­mer.

RLSSWA chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Leaver­such said there were many rea­sons why more deaths were recorded in this pe­riod.

He said peo­ple might over­es­ti­mate their abil­ity in the wa­ter, or sim­ply have lost it.

He said it could also be be­cause aquatic en­vi­ron­ments are prone to change over win­ter, mak­ing them un­fa­mil­iar.

“Our mes­sage is very sim­ple and built around what life stage peo­ple are at,” he said.

“Chil­dren need to be watched around wa­ter at all times. If they’re a lit­tle older get them in­volved in a swim­ming pro­gram – it’s a skill for life.

“And for adults, don’t mix al­co­hol and swim­ming.”

Lo­cally, our city’s north was Perth’s most com­mon zone for drown­ing deaths over a re­cent fiveyear pe­riod.

In­for­ma­tion from the RLSSWA re­vealed 36 peo­ple drowned in WA’s north met­ro­pol­i­tan re­gion be­tween 2011-12 and 2015-16.

Twenty-nine of those peo­ple were male, while more than half of all in­ci­dents in this re­gion oc­curred in home pools or baths.

In the south met­ro­pol­i­tan re­gion, 26 peo­ple drowned dur­ing the same five-year pe­riod, with males again mak­ing up the ma­jor­ity of deaths with 17 fa­tal­i­ties.

Seven­teen of the deaths in this area oc­curred at home.

Ten of the 12 deaths in the Peel re­gion were male. ■ ■ ■ ■

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