A report into the incidence of inland water drownings in Victoria was released ahead of Water Safety Week this week.December 5, 2012 4:15am
District residents and holiday makers are being urged to take care on waterways over the summer holiday period.
The 2011-12 Victorian Drowning Report released last week revealed an increase in drowning incidents over the previous year’s record low.
The Loddon region recorded two drowning deaths, the same number that occurred in the region in the previous year.
Key findings from the report include:
For the first time, this year’s Victorian drowning report includes statistics on non-fatal drowning incidents.
From 2001-11, there was an average of 104 hospitalisations each year, the equivalent of almost three non-fatal drowning incidents for every death.
Children aged zero to four were at greatest risk of such incidents, with the highest age-specific rate of 10.83 per 100,000 population.
This data also revealed a 17 per cent increase in hospitalisations in children aged 5-14 years in recent years.
Life Saving Victoria research and injury prevention manager Dr Bernadette Matthews said data of non-fatal drowning incidents helped paint a fuller picture.
‘‘This data shows that there are many more drowning incidents than we have been aware of,’’ she said.
‘‘Some of the key risks areas we have seen this year for drowning include inland waterways such as rivers, creeks, lakes and dams.
‘‘Inland waterways can look calm but are often very dangerous; there can be strong currents as well as submerged objects that aren’t easily visible.
‘‘Flooding over recent years in Victoria has seen much more water across the state and changed conditions in many waterways.
‘‘Always read safety signs, check the depth and check for hazards before you jump or dive in and never swim alone.’’
Alcohol continues to be a key risk factor, with 10 drowning deaths (27 per cent) in 2011-12 where alcohol was reportedly consumed by the individual prior to drowning.
‘‘Drinking or taking drugs around water affects your swimming ability and judgement of dangerous situations, increasing your risk of drowning,’’ Dr Matthews said.
‘‘Many drowning deaths are preventable, so we must continue to be vigilant about water safety.’’
The report was launched in the lead up to Water Safety Week, which runs until December 9 and encourages Victorians to enjoy the water safely this summer.
Former councillor Chris Hazelman has been elected as seventh councillor for Greater Shepparton.
Police are currently at the scene of a double fatal collision involving two cars in at the Cahill Road, Gilmore Street and Woods Road intersection in Yarrawonga.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
CAMPASPE Shire’s animal ranger is hunting two dogs after they attacked and killed a dog walking with its owner.
Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society hosted an afternoon tea to recognise long-standing members Barrie and Flora Griffin and John and Margaret Harley.
About 7600 residents served by Goulburn Valley Water are affected by a boil-water advisory.
Scone Equine Hospital relaunches local veterinary practice.
A beauty pamper day has raised a whopping $18k to assist local lady Terri Bevan with her ongoing medical costs associated with her brain tumour
A planning scheme amendment to allow the expansion and redevelopment of the IGA supermarket at Heathcote has been approved by the Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
The second Koonoomoo Pickers and Packers Charity Ball came to town on the weekend, and was bigger and better than ever.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The G-MW Murray gravity irrigation system has received 35 per cent and the Goulburn system 42 per cent of allocation from July 1.
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