Drowning in NSW


Drowning in NSW

87people drowned in NSW waterways last year.

The Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2018 has revealed that a total of 249 people lost their life to drowning in Australian waterways between July 1 2017 and June 30 2018 and an estimated further 551 hospitalisations resulting from non-fatal drowning incidents. .

With NSW having the largest population in Australia, it is no surprise that more drownings occur here than in any other state.  Over the last 10 years alone we have seen more than 1000 drowning deaths in NSW.

Drowning is preventable and Royal Life Saving NSW urges the community to be vigilant at all times when in, on or around water.

Who drowns?

The 45-54 age group recorded the highest number of drowning deaths in New South Wales with 16 deaths (18%).

Males consistently drown at a rate four times that of females.

Other at-risk population groups include:

  • children 0-4
  • young adults
  • older Australians
  • and culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD).

Where do people drown?

Inland water ways including rivers, creeks and streams  continue to be a leading location for drowning in NSW due to the unpredictable nature of these environments. Almost one quarter (24%) of deaths occurred while swimming and recreating. 

Beaches also claim a significant number of lives each year, most commonly away from patrolled areas.

Back yard swimming pools are the leading location for drowning in the 0-4 age group. Drowning in this age group has also occurred in spas, buckets, bath tubs, ponds, water tanks and more.

Other areas including rocks, oceans, harbours and public swimming pools are also high risk drowning locations.

2018 NSW Drowning Overview

Check the link below for more information:

Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2018

How can you stay safe?

  • Wear a life jacket
  • Supervise children
  • Learn CPR and First Aid
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Learn life saving skills

Drowning is PREVENTABLE- make sure you are equipped with the knowledge and skills to keep you and your family safe when in, on or around water.

Through various Royal Life Saving initiatives such as Be Pool Safe, Keep Watch, Grey Medallion, Respect the River, Swim Safe Swim Sober and Swim & Survive, Royal Life Saving NSW are striving to reduce drownings.

Learn more about Keep Watch and toddler drowning prevention

Find out more about learning Resuscitation (CPR)