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.
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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