Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

A SPATE of re­cent drown­ings in Aus­tralia sent shock­waves through the coun­try, in­clud­ing the deaths of twins in a NSW back­yard pool last month. Al­though it may seem drown­ing rates in Aus­tralia sky­rock­eted over the past few months. The truth is there has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in deaths over the past four years, with 280 peo­ple dy­ing last year in Aus­tralian wa­ter­ways alone – a 5 per cent rise from 2015. And 83 per cent of those deaths were men aged in their mid-40s. Have we be­come too com­pla­cent around the water, are we ig­nor­ing the warn­ings and risks or are we lack­ing ba­sic swim­ming skills? De­spite a se­ries of cour­ses and cam­paigns avail­able, we are still see­ing peo­ple die from pre­ventable deaths in the water, so what is caus­ing them? When most peo­ple fin­ish their sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion, so do swim­ming lessons. The an­swer to re­duc­ing drown­ings in Aus­tralia could be to in­vest in adult aquatic ed­u­ca­tion. Lisa Thomas Re­porter

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