INCREASE IN DROWNINGS
Provisional figures from Water Safety New Zealand for 2017 show a 13 per cent increase in preventable drownings on the previous year. There were 88 preventable drownings in 2017 versus 78 in 2016. Spikes in the under-fives and over 65 age groups are features of the 2017 figures. Female fatalities have almost doubled, reflecting higher participation rates across a wide range of activities and there were twice as many accidental immersions in 2017. Preventable fatalities in Auckland have doubled, while the West Coast has the highest drowning rate per capita. Drowning remains to number one cause of recreational death and number three cause of accidental death, with a social cost of more than $400m per annum to the country. The Water Safety code applies to all forms of water based recreation - Be prepared, watch out for yourself and others, be aware of the dangers and know your limits.