The Royal Life Saving Society Australia’s full 10-year review into drownings across waterways in Australia has been released.RENEE THOMPSON May 23, 2014 8:42am
The Murray River is officially the worst river for drownings in Australia.
It is one of the major findings of Royal Life Saving Society Australia’s full 10-year review into drownings across waterways in Australia, released this week.
A total of 735 people died in rivers from 2002 to 2012, accounting for one in four overall drowning deaths for the review period.
The Echuca-Moama community has been no stranger to river deaths.
Tim Gaylard, 27, of Colac, was swimming with family and friends near Moama beach in February when he disappeared near the Echuca-Moama bridge about 6.30
A search was carried out, but he was not found until 10
A second man, Stephen Treacy, 49, died after falling from a houseboat while on holiday with friends near Echuca. Friends raised the alarm after failing to find him.
A NSW coroner has yet to determine whether drowning was the official cause of death in each case.
According to the Rpyal Life Saving Society report, rivers had the highest number of drowning deaths of any aquatic location, with oceans, beaches and swimming pools coming in second, third and fourth highest respectively.
Of the rivers, the Murray River was the single river system with the highest number of drownings in the 10-year period, with 43 deaths.
Royal Life Saving Society’s Riverina regional manager Michael Dasey said there were still some interesting findings particular to the Murray River, including the finding men were much more likely to drown than women.
‘‘On average, there was an 80/20 gender split in (total) river drownings with males accounting for the majority,’’ he said.
‘‘However on the Murray River the figures were much higher, with males representing 91 per cent of drownings.’’
On the Murray, ‘‘about 28 per cent’’ of drownings were as a result of using watercraft, he said.
Mr Dasey said other rivers did not have such a high percentage of deaths because of watercraft, with drownings more likely to have occurred while swimming, for example.
He said one of the explanations for the different Murray data likely had to do with the diversity of its users and its length.
‘‘If you look at the Murray River, what is one of the defining things? It is a waterway used by multiple watercraft, including riverboats, paddelsteamers and waterskiers,’’ Mr Dasey said.
‘‘Other waterways are not like this. Because the Murray River is the longest river in Australia, it traverses distinct differences in population.’’
The Murray was commonly frequented by transient populations of people, such as workers and tourists perhaps not used to rivers, he said.
Part of the report’s recommendations was to educate such populations about river safety being just as important as beach and dam safety, he said.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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