STATE’S DROWN­ING SPIKE IS A TROU­BLING TREND

Geelong Advertiser - - YOUR SAY -

I WRITE from Life Sav­ing Vic­to­ria to high­light that the lat­est data re­veals re­gional Vic­to­ri­ans are over­rep­re­sented in the cur­rent drown­ing toll.

Data shows Vic­to­ri­ans in re­gional ar­eas are al­most twice as likely to drown when com­pared to peo­ple in metropoli­tan Mel­bourne.

Vic­to­ria’s drown­ing toll is the high­est for 20 years. There has been a dra­matic spike in the num­ber of drown­ings in both coastal ar­eas and in­land wa­ter­ways. It is a trou­bling trend.

We ask all peo­ple in re­gional Vic­to­ria to play it safe by the wa­ter as the hot­ter weather ap­proaches. Al­ways swim be­tween the flags, al­ways ac­tively su­per­vise chil­dren around wa­ter, learn swim­ming and wa­ter safety skills and please re­mem­ber you are never too old to learn and re­fresh your skills.

We ask men to watch out for each other and avoid al­co­hol around wa­ter. Al­ways wear a life­jacket.

Older adults are now more likely to drown than chil­dren. Older adults have the high­est fa­tal drown­ing rate (a 71 per cent in­crease) on the 10-year av­er­age. There has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the drown­ing rate for peo­ple aged 65 and over.

We want peo­ple to en­joy aquatic en­vi­ron­ments. How­ever, we do urge all Vic­to­ri­ans to play it safe.

For more tips and in­for­ma­tion, visit www.lsv.com.au.

Dr Ber­nadette Matthews, Prin­ci­pal Re­search As­so­ciate, Life Sav­ing Vic­to­ria

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