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Surf Life Saving Queensland

Coast Safe Report 2015


Drowning Snapshot Snapshot Queensland Queensland Drowning 2014 –− 2015 2014 2015

10

100%

BEACH-RELATED

COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

MALE

0

50%

DEATHS BETWEEN

NOVEMBER − FEBRUARY

SLSQ’S RED & YELLOW FLAGS

Incident locations by region

Contributing factors

RIPS

SWIMMING/WADING North Queensland

50 − 69 YEAR OLDS

DAYS

Weekdays

Saturdays

Wide Bay Capricorn

Sunshine Coast

Gold Coast

TIMES

2:01pm-4:00pm

12:01pm-2:00pm


Contents

About

04

Where and how did the drownings occur?

28

Executive summary

07

Section 03 – Other incidents

30

Strategic direction to minimise incidents of drownings

08

Dangerous marine creatures incidents

32

SLSQ Snapshot

11

Section 04 – Our services

35

Section 01 – A year in review

12

Staying in touch with our services

36

Overview

14

Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service

38

Who is drowning on the coast?

16

Australian Lifeguard Service Queensland

40

Rip currents

18

Community Awareness

42

When are they drowning?

19

Aquatic auditing and risk assessments

44

Where and how are they drowning?

20

Methodology and research

46

Section 02 – Ten years in review

23

Our clubs

47

Who drowned on the coast?

24

Glossary

48

When did they drown?

26


About

Who are we

Our vision

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is the state’s peak aquatic safety and rescue authority, and one of the largest volunteer-based community service organisations in Australia.

Zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters.

From humble beginnings almost a century ago, SLSQ has developed into an innovative and ground-breaking organisation encompassing more than 30,000 highly-skilled members across the state.

SLSQ will operate as a proactive and effective peak body leading the way in lifesaving service provision, education, sport, beach safety advocacy and leadership.

Formally established in 1930, SLSQ is the governing body for surf lifesaving in Queensland, comprising 58 affiliated Surf Life Saving Clubs in six regions. The organisation also encompasses 43 Supporters Clubs, boasting some 310,000 members in their own right.

Our strategic imperatives

Our primary mission is to provide safer beaches in Queensland, and work with state and national affiliates to protect beachgoers and swimmers across Australia.

Connected to our People: To recruit and retain the best people through support and development of their skills and knowledge.

SLSQ is directly affiliated with, and is part of, Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) and the International Life Saving Federation (ILS).

Why we exist Stretching approximately 6,089km, Queensland’s coastline encompasses more than 760 accessible beaches (excluding islands). Each year more and more domestic and international tourists visit the state’s many beaches. Since it was officially formed in 1930, SLSQ has made significant advancements in lifesaving technology, techniques and knowledge. However, despite this, there are still numerous drownings, near-drownings and other fatalities each year on Queensland beaches.

Our mission

Committed to our Community: To advocate on water safety management and continue to enhance the reputation of SLSQ as the peak body.

Effective in our Business: To plan and execute our day-to-day operations to an outstanding level of efficiency, with continuous improvement always in mind. Sustainable for the Future: To ensure our future through continuous growth, strong financial management and sound governance.

Our funding Surf Life Saving is a not-for-profit community service organisation. We rely on public and corporate support to fund our operations. We also receive financial support from the Queensland Government via grants, subsidies and service agreements.

Our primary targets SLSQ exists to save lives, develop best practices in surf safety education, prevention, emergency care and rescue. The organisation endeavours to set a global benchmark for coastal and aquatic safety and, ultimately, achieve our overarching vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters’. SLSQ retains a strong commitment to pursuing continuous improvement across all levels of operation as we work towards this vision.

04

Surf Life Saving Queensland

International and domestic visitors to Queensland beaches.


Surf Life Saving Queensland aims to create great Australians, build better communities, and continue our primary mission of saving lives.


Executive summary

Queensland’s iconic beaches, reefs and clear blue waters are famous all over the world, attracting millions of local residents, interstate tourists and international guests alike each and every year. However, not all of these visitors to our state’s beaches and waterways are aware of the potential dangers they may encounter. The size and strength of the surf, unpredictable rips and gutters and dangerous marine creatures can all pose significant and potentially life-threatening risks for inexperienced beachgoers. For almost a century, SLSQ’s army of volunteer surf lifesavers and professional lifeguards have been patrolling along the state’s coastline, protecting beachgoers and saving thousands of lives in the process. Last year alone, this highly-skilled group of men and women rescued 3,648 people from the ocean and performed an additional 648,831 preventative actions to proactively safeguard and protect swimmers.

operating around the clock in all regions across the state. Linking this network together are SLSQ’s state-of-the-art Communication Centres, providing a central hub of intelligence for lifesaving patrols on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. However, despite these significant efforts and advancements, it is pertinent to note that there were still ten coastal drowning deaths on Queensland beaches in 2014/15 and 78 across the past ten years. As far as SLSQ is concerned, even one drowning is one too many and we remain committed to expanding and enhancing services at all levels across the state to protect swimmers and save lives. SLSQ’s 2015 Coast Safe Report provides a snapshot of coastal incidents and highlights some of the key initiatives that SLSQ is continuing to implement to help reduce injuries and fatalities in Queensland waters.

However, today, beach patrols are just one of the many services that SLSQ performs out in the community in a bid to achieve our overarching vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters’. Patrolling lifesavers and lifeguards work directly with an extensive and intricate support network encompassing aerial search and rescue, coastal cameras streaming a live feed of conditions and activity from high-risk areas, and 24/7 emergency response groups

George Hill Chief Operating Officer Surf Life Saving Queensland

Coast Safe Report 2015

07


Strategic direction to minimise incidents of drownings

The International Life Saving Federation (ILS) has identified four key factors that may lead to drowning. These are: 1. Lack of knowledge, disregard or misjudgement of the hazard 2. Uninformed, unprotected or unrestricted access to the hazard 3. Lack of supervision or surveillance 4. An inability to cope once in difficulty Any of these factors, or a combination, could lead to death by drowning. An understanding of these factors, and how they contribute to drowning and coastal fatalities, helps in the design of drowning prevention strategies. Having a strong understanding and appreciation about which factors are the greatest contributors will play a key role in eliminating drownings within a particular region. Some regions may require a wider approach to coastal safety encompassing multiple elements while, in other regions, a strategic focus on one core element could be the most effective use of resources.

08

Surf Life Saving Queensland

SLSQ has also embraced the Australian Water Safety Strategy for 2012-2015, in relation to reducing drowning deaths. As part of this, the following key objectives have been identified: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Reduce drowning deaths in children aged 0-14 Reduce drowning deaths in young people aged 15-24 Reduce drowning deaths in people aged 55+ Reduce drowning deaths in inland waterways Reduce surf beach drowning deaths Reduce drowning deaths by strengthening the aquatic industry Reduce alcohol and drug related drowning deaths Reduce drowning deaths attributed to watercraft and recreational aquatic activities Reduce drowning deaths in high risk populations Reduce the impact of disaster and extreme weather on drowning deaths

SLSQ continues to address and focus on programs, education, information, skills, supervision and recommendations to land managers and key stakeholders to minimise high-risk aquatic environments.


The Drowning Prevention Chain

ON SI VI CE ER LAN L

T EN M SS

TO IN CR QUA EASE LIT K AN Y PU NOW D A BL W I A

N TIO ISI S QU KILL C S E AVAL

LSS SKI L A IV RV

S ICE RV SE NG VI

TO PR OF OM SU OT RV I

INC RE A SE SU

T EN M SS

LA C OR K O SU F S U R VE P I

RIS K A SS E

EXT END L IFE SA

TO LIF PR ES OM AV O IN

RIS K A SS E

PE IY COULT O IC F

REDUCE DROWNING

ITY AL ES QU VIC TE SER G

LA OR MCK OF ISU KN ND OW ER L ST ED AN G DI E, NG RIS KA SS E ED UC AT EA

D ICTE STR RE UN OR ARD ED AZ CT E H H

ESS ACC NY DE OR

TO P RO EN MO VI TE RO

IC UAT AQ FE NTS SA ME N

GH ROU TH ION E T DG CA LE EDU ESS C EN R

G

ND

RM FO IN

T EN M SS

R FO RD RD AZA A EG E H SR F TH I D O T EN M S S

UNI NFO RM ED AC , UN CE PR SS O TO TE T RIS KA SS PROV E IDE WA RN IN

Coast Safe Report 2015

09

ONINAB C IL E IN ITY DI T F


SLSQ Snapshot Snapshot SLSQ 2014 –− 2015 2014

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS

VOLUNTEER PATROL HOURS

12,723

19,105

PEOPLE TRAINED IN FIRST AID AND CPR

FIRST AID TREATMENTS

LIVES SAVED

8,850

TOTAL ACTIVE MEMBERS

HELICOPTER SURF PATROLS

TOTAL NIPPERS

601,693 PEOPLE REACHED VIA COMMUNITY AWARENESS PROGRAMS

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS PERFORMED

Coast Safe Report 2015

11


Section 01 A year in review


Overview

SLSQ works closely with SLSA and the NCIS when it comes to tracking and analysing incidents of coastal drowning deaths in Queensland. From 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 there were 19 coastal drowning deaths across the state. Of these, ten were beach-related.

Figure 1

Total coastal drowning deaths by activity (n=19)

Total coastal drownings deaths in Queensland = 19 As part of its strategic plan, SLSQ is committed to investigating and analysing all beach-related coastsal drowning deaths that have occurred across Queensland. This research helps SLSQ identify new services, equipment and educational programs in a bid to increase its reach along Queensland’s coastline and, ultlimately, deliver on the organisation’s overarching vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters’.

Beach-related coastal drowning deaths in Queensland = 10

14

Surf Life Saving Queensland

2

1

1 1 2

7

37% Swimming/ wading

3

2

Rock fishing Attempting a rescue Watercraft Diving Snorkeling Boating Swimming/wading Unknown


Who is drowning on the coast?

It is pertinent to note that 100% of coastal drowning deaths that occurred on Queensland beaches in 2014/15 were male. The 30-39, 50-59 and 60-69 age categories each recorded three separate coastal drowning deaths. By comparison, there were no deaths recorded in the 20-29 age group. Historically, this age group has recorded at least one coastal drowning death each year since 2011. There has never been a recorded beach-related coastal drowning death within the 0-9 and 90-99 age groups.

Figure 3

Ages 2014/15 (n=10) 1 3

60%

In addition to age, gender and location, SLSQ also collects data on the nationality of all drowning victims, where available.

3

Over 50

In 2014/15, 70% of all victims were Australian residents, representing an increase when compared to previous years. While not the case this year, historically, people from overseas and/or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have been over-represented in Queensland drowning figures.

3

10-19 30-39 50-59 60-69

Figure 4

Nationalities 2014/15 (n=10)

Figure 2

10 drownings in 2014/15 (100% male)

7 Case Study: Successful resuscitation of 57-year-old male In April 2015 six off-duty volunteer surf lifesavers were training at Noosa’s Main Beach early one morning before patrols had commenced, when they found a 57-year-old male unconscious on his back. Earlier that morning, the gentleman had been spotted entering and exiting the water at the popular swimming location. The group of qualified surf lifesavers immediately sprung into action, administering first aid and vital CPR using an Oxy-Viva resuscitator and defibrillator from the Noosa Heads Surf Life

16

Surf Life Saving Queensland

3

Saving Club. The lifesavers contacted the Queensland Ambulance Service and used the defibrillator to deliver four electrical shocks to the patient’s heart over the course of 12 minutes, all while continuing to perform CPR. The patient was showing no signs of life when QAS officers arrived on the scene. Lifesavers continued to perform CPR while a further shock was administered to the patient via the defibrillator. The victim was transported to Nambour Hospital where further treatment was administered and he recovered. He later returned to Noosa to thank the volunteers who had saved his life.


Case Study: On The Same Wave multicultural program

With thanks to vital funding from the Queensland Government, SLSQ’s On The Same Wave program engages directly with Queenslanders and visitors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to provide them with potentially life saving surf safety education in a simple format, in their primary language. Generally speaking, this high-risk group of migrants and international tourists tend to lack basic English skills and have a limited understanding of local beach conditions. Often coupled with inadequate swimming skills, this can make for a potentially deadly combination in the surf. The need for surf awareness is particularly crucial for newly-arrived migrants and refugees. Many of these people come from countries which are land-locked or have very different beach conditions to those experienced in Australia. Consequently, surf awareness programs and education are essential for their ongoing beach safety. A strong advocate that prevention is better than a cure, SLSQ is committed to delivering vital beach safety and community awareness programs to help break the drowning cycle. On The Same Wave incorporates: • Distribution of translated information and posters on water safety in more than 30 different languages, in partnership with Cultural Diversity Queensland;

• Education workshops at schools, focusing on those with a particularly high percentage of international students and migrants; • Beach education classes featuring trained lifesavers and lifeguards; • Information sessions specifically targeting migrants and refugees; and • Promotion of surf safety messages at key community events and multicultural festivals. In 2014/15, the program saw trained surf lifesavers visit more than 100 schools and community organisations across the state, conducting 265 classroom and beach sessions and educating almost 150,000 potential beachgoers in the process. SLSA also provides a free mobile phone app for iPhone and Android devices that allows users to obtain real-time beach safety information and conditions for more than 12,000 Australian beaches. To date, this app has been translated in 72 different languages. The app is an extension of SLS’s Beachsafe website, a one-stop-shop containing vital beach information from weather forecasts, tide, swell, and water temperature to service patrol periods, surf life saving club details and regulatory and hazard information.

Coast Safe Report 2015

17


Rip currents

Rip currents are one of the greatest, and most common, hazards on Australian beaches. On average, rip currents are responsible for at least 21 drownings in Australia each year. In addition, lifesavers and lifeguards perform countless rescues each year, both inside and outside the flagged areas, to assist swimmers caught in rip currents. The majority of drownings traced back to rips occur after swimmers begin to panic and/or attempt to swim against the current, leaving them exhausted and unable to stay afloat. Rip currents have also been responsible for claiming the lives of non-swimmers, who were dragged from shallow and waist-deep water into deeper surf.

How do you spot a rip current? The key signs to look for are: • Deeper and/or darker water • Fewer breaking waves or flat conditions • Sandy coloured water extending beyond the surf zone • Debris or seaweed • Significant water movement It can often be easier to find the point where the waves are breaking consistently, and then look to each side where they do not break consistently. Those areas are generally rip currents.

Case Study: Unpatrolled beach In 2015, at approximately 4:20pm, SLSQ’s SurfCom was advised of an unfolding emergency situation at an unpatrolled stretch of coastline on the Sunshine Coast. An adult male was spotted face-down in the water by members of the public. SurfCom operators immediately radioed lifeguards from the nearest patrol service, requesting urgent assistance. Arriving on the scene, lifeguards quickly located the swimmer and transported him back to shore. They commenced resuscitation on the gentleman and maintained this treatment for more than ten minutes until QAS officers arrived on the scene and took over. In the meantime a female witness collapsed from shock. Lifeguards administered oxygen and treated the woman. Tragically, the gentleman was not able to be revived. SLSQ is constantly looking for ways to increase protection for beachgoers and prevent fatalities such as this through the expansion of services and community awareness initiatives.

Unpatrolled stretch of coastline north of Marcoola Beach with a number of rip currents

18

Surf Life Saving Queensland


When are they drowning?

In 2014/15, 40% of all coastal drowning deaths occured between the peak summer months of December, January and February. Traditionally, these months are the busiest time of the year for lifesavers and lifeguards, with longer days and favourable conditions ensuring large crowds of people flock to the beach. It is worth noting there were still coastal drowning deaths recorded in autumn, winter and spring, which indicates that members of the public are swimming year-round.

The time of all drowning incidents are recorded by SLSQ and grouped into one of eight categories. This data indicates that 30% of deaths occurred between 12:01pm to 2:00pm, and 40% between 2:01pm to 4:00pm.

Figure 6

Days of the week 2014/15 (n=10)

In 2014/15, 40% of all coastal drowning deaths occurred on Saturday. With the exception of Thursday, all other days of the week recorded at least one coastal drowning death. Weekdays accounted for 50% of drowning deaths.

1

2

40%

Figure 5

Months of the year 2014/15 (n=10)

4

1

Saturdays Monday Tuesday Wednesday Friday Saturday Sunday

1 2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Figure 7

Time of the day 2014/15 (n=10)

0 Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr May

0 Jun

Jul

0 Aug Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Before 8am 0 8:01am-10:00am 0 10:01am-12:00pm 0 12:01pm-2:00pm 2:01pm-4:00pm 4:01pm-6:00pm 6:01pm-12:00am

3 4 2 1

On average, rip currents are responsible for at least 21 drownings in Australia each year.

Coast Safe Report 2015

19


Where and how are they drowning?

There are more than 760 publicly-accessible beaches in Queensland. Of these, only 119 are actively patrolled by SLSQ’s volunteer surf lifesavers and/or professional lifeguards. With that in mind, it is vital for all beachgoers to have basic aquatic safety skills, knowledge and awareness to protect themselves, and others, in the water. As part of SLSQ’s strategic plan and core business, it records and analyses all beach-related coastal drowning deaths across the state.

On the Sunshine Coast, the majority of drownings in 2014/15 occurred at high-energy, open beaches with transverse bars and rips on the stretch of beach between Yaroomaba and Marcoola.

Figure 8

Regions 2014/15 (n=10)

A review of this data shows North Queensland and the Sunshine Coast (including Noosa) recorded the highest number of coastal drowning deaths in 2014/15, with both areas each accounting for 30% of the state’s total drownings. Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast accounted for 20%. North Queensland

Coastal drowning deaths by beach in Queensland Green Island, North Queensland

2

Surfers Paradise Beach, Gold Coast

2

Fishermans Beach, Emu Park

1

Dilli Village, Fraser Island

1

Sunshine Beach, Noosa

1

Yaroomba Beach, Sunshine Coast

1

Marcoola Beach, Sunshine Coast

1

Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island

1 Wide Bay Capricorn

Green Island in North Queensland recorded two coastal drowning deaths in 2014/15. Historically speaking, this has been one of the state’s most common locations for coastal drowning deaths, having averaged at least one per year since 2005.

Sunshine Coast

Gold Coast

Case Study: Green Island Green Island in Tropical North Queensland continues to be a popular destination for domestic and international tourists alike. The island itself is relatively small in size (approximately 15 hectares) and can be walked around in roughly 20 minutes. Each and every day, passenger boats travel to and from the island, transporting anywhere from 250-450 tourists to participate in organised tours and water activities. Traditionally, Green Island has been over-represented in Queensland’s drowning figures, averaging one drowning death each year. In addition there have been numerous near-drownings

20

Surf Life Saving Queensland

and major rescues. The only patrolled location is on the eastern side of the island. In December 2014, after a number of fatal incidents and major rescues at an unpatrolled stretch of beach near the jetty, SLSQ introduced and funded a third professional lifeguard on the island, in partnership with the Department of Community Services. The lifeguard monitors unpatrolled locations and liaises with guests before they enter the water. After conducting a Coastal Public Safety Risk Assessment SLSQ identified a need to upgrade aquatic safety signage on the island and improve safety information, particularly in relation to snorkelling. These are just some of the report’s recommendations.


The safest location for beachgoers to swim is between the red and yellow flagged areas, which are actively patrolled by trained surf lifesavers and lifeguards. Despite this, there are some members of the public who continue to enter the water at unpatrolled locations. Each year, lifesavers and lifeguards are required to rescue swimmers from outside of the flagged areas. All coastal drowning deaths across Queensland in 2014/15 occurred outside of SLSQ’s patrolled areas. It is worth noting that 80% occurred one kilometre or less from the red and yellow flags. A further 20% of drownings occurred more than three kilometres from an active patrol or lifesaving service.

The type of activity the victim was participating in at the time of the incident has also been recorded by SLSQ. Not surprisingly, the most common activity was swimming/wading, which accounted for 70% of all drowning victims. A further 20% of drowning victims were actively engaged in snorkelling/spearfishing. This is a common occurrence across the state and particularly in North Queensland, as a result of accessible reefs within the region.

Figure 10

Activities at the time 2014/15 (n=10)

Figure 9

2

Distances from lifesaving service 2014/15 (n=10) 1 2

2

7 Swimming/wading Riding surfcraft Snorkelling/spearfishing

80% Less than 1km 4

70% Swimming/ wading

2 Less than 200m 201m-500m 501m-1000m 3001m-beyond

All coastal drownings across Queensland in 2014/15 occurred outside of SLSQ’s patrolled areas.

Green Island, North Queensland

Coast Safe Report 2015

21


Section 02 Ten years in review


Who drowned on the coast?

This section of the report draws on data recorded from 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2015, and provides a ten-year snapshot of coastal drowning deaths during that time.

Figure 11

Drownings 2005-15 (n=78) 10

Figure 13 10

9

9 8

8

9

7

6 5 4

2 0

Ages 2005-15 (n=78)

9

8

4

The ages of all coastal drowning victims were recorded. In total there were 17 coastal drowning deaths in the 20-29 age group, making it the most common age category. A further 28% of victims were aged over 50. There were no coastal drowning deaths recorded in the 0-9 and 90-99 age categories.

05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14 14-15

During this time, there were a total of 78 coastal drowning deaths on Queensland beaches, with males accounting for 87% of victims.

0-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80-89 90-99

0 13 17 15 11 7 11 3 1 0

A review of drowning data from across the past ten years shows that 55% of victims were Australian residents. SLSQ continues to use this information and data to identify and address gaps in education and awareness.

Figure 12

Gender 2005-15 (n=78)

Figure 14

Nationalities 2005-15 (n=78) 10

43

87% Male

68

24

Surf Life Saving Queensland

Male Female

35


When did they drown?

March has been the most common month for drownings, with 17 recorded across the past ten years. In total, 38% of all coastal drowning deaths occurred in the summer months, while winter represents the lowest season for deaths, at just 8%.

Figure 16

Days of the week 2005-15 (n=78)

There have been a total of 16 drownings recorded on Saturdays during the past ten years, making it the most common day of the week for coastal fatalities. This is closely followed by Friday and Sunday, which each account for 17% of drownings. Collectively, 63% of deaths occurred on weekdays. SLSQ records the time of each coastal drowning death, which provides vital information for addressing strategic and patrol requirements at a particular location. In total, 23% of all drownings across the past ten years occurred between 2:01pm to 4:00pm. It is pertinent to note that 18% of drownings occurred between 6pm to 8am, either after or before a patrol service was present. The time of death is unknown for two coastal drownings.

6

13

12

16

37% Weekends

9

9 13

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Figure 15

Figure 17

Months of the year 2005-15 (n=78)

Times of the day 2005-15 (n=78)

17

13 10 8 7 6 5

Jan

26

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

2

2

2

Jun

Jul

Aug

Surf Life Saving Queensland

3

3

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Before 8am 8:01am-10:00am 10:01am-12:00pm 12:01pm-2:00pm 2:01pm-4:00pm 4:01pm-6:00pm 6:01pm-12:00am Unknown

7 3 8 17 18 16 7 2


10 year statistics – beach-related coastal drowning deaths by Council

Council

Total Drowning/s 2005-15

Council of the City of Gold Coast

34

Cairns Regional Council

9

Noosa Shire Council

9

Sunshine Coast Council

9

Redland City Council

5

Fraser Coast Regional Council

3

Bundaberg Regional Council

2

Gladstone Regional Council

2

Livingstone Shire Council

1

Mackay Regional Council

1

Whitsunday Regional Council

1

Gympie Regional Council

1

Moreton Bay Regional Council

1

Townsville City Council

0

Hinchinbrook Shire Council

0

Cassowary Coast Regional Council

0

Douglas Shire Council

0

Burdekin Shire Council

0

Rockhampton Regional Council

0

Brisbane City Council

0

Total

78


Where and how did the drownings occur?

Across the past ten years, 44% of all coastal drowning deaths occurred on the Gold Coast, making it the most common location in Queensland for fatalities over this time. By contrast, 26% of drownings were recorded on the Sunshine Coast and 10% in North Queensland. The Gold Coast has seen a significant increase in the number of drowning fatalities across the past ten years. The distance from an active patrol and/or lifesaving service was recorded for all coastal drowning deaths across the past ten years. In total, 74% of drownings occurred less than 1km from a lifesaving service and 28% were less than 200m from a flagged patrol area. A further 19% occurred more than 3km from a lifesaving or lifeguard service.

Figure 19

Distances from lifesaving service 2005-15 (n=78)

15 22 1 2 2

46% Less than 500m

The type of activity the victim was participating in at the time of the incident has also been recorded by SLSQ. Not surprisingly, the most common activity was swimming/wading, which accounted for 62% of all drownings. Coastal and weather conditions, beach type and a number of other external factors are likely to have been contributing factors. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of fatal incidents involving a surf craft across the past ten years.

Less than 200m 201m-500m 501m-1000m 1001m-1500m 2001m-2500m 2501m-3000m 3001m-beyond

14

22

Figure 20 Figure 18

Activities at the time 2005-15 (n=78)

Regions 2005-15 (n=78)

4

34

7 5 19

62%

5

9

9

8 6 2

North Queensland

28

North Barrier

Wide Bay Capricorn

Sunshine Coast

Surf Life Saving Queensland

Gold Coast

Brisbane Region

Swimming/ wading

48 Swimming/wading Riding surfcraft Attempting a rescue Rock walking/fishing Snorkelling/spearfishing Other


Beach

Total drowning deaths 2005-15

Total drowning deaths 2005-15

Beach (cont.)

Surfers Paradise – Gold Coast

8

Flinders Beach, North Stradbroke Island – Redland

1

Green Island – Cairns

7

Frenchmans Beach, North Stradbroke Island – Redland

1

Kurrawa – Gold Coast

3

Happy Valley – Fraser Island

1

Northcliffe – Gold Coast

3

Happy Valley – Sunshine Coast

1

Alexandria Bay – Noosa Shire

2

Honeymoon Bay – Moreton Island

1

Narrowneck – Gold Coast

2

Horseshoe Bay – Whitsunday

1

North Gorge, North Stradbroke Island – Redland

2

Innes Park – Wide Bay

1

Peregian – Noosa Shire

2

Inskip Point, Rainbow Beach – Gympie Region

1

South Stradbroke Island – Gold Coast

2

Kings Beach – Sunshine Coast

1

Southport Spit – Gold Coast

2

Kirra Beach – Gold Coast

1

Sunshine Beach – Noosa Shire

2

Marcoola Beach – Sunshine Coast

1

Tallebudgera Creek – Gold Coast

2

Miami Beach – Gold Coast

1

Teewah Beach – Noosa Shire

2

Noosa North Shore – Noosa Shire

1

Agnes Water – Wide Bay

1

Nudey Beach – Fitzroy Island

1

Bilinga – Gold Coast

1

Pacific – Gold Coast

1

Broadbeach – Gold Coast

1

Main Beach, North Stradbroke Island – Redland

1

Burleigh Heads – Gold Coast

1

Port Arkwright – Sunshine Coast

1

Caloundra Rivermouth – Sunshine Coast

1

Sandy Point – Farnborough Beach

1

Cape Palmerston – Mackay

1

Southport Broadwater – Gold Coast

1

Coolangatta – Gold Coast

1

Southport Seaway – Gold Coast

1

Coolum Beach – Sunshine Coast

1

Southport – Gold Coast

1

Cornwalls Camping Ground – Fraser Island

1

Tallebudgera – Gold Coast

1

Currumbin – Gold Coast

1

Twin Waters, Mudjimba Beach – Sunshine Coast

1

Dilli Village, Fraser Island – Fraser Coast

1

Wild Cattle Creek – Tannum Sands

1

Discovery Beach – Sunshine Coast

1

Yaroomba Beach – Sunshine Coast

1

Fishermans Beach – Emu Park

1

Total

78

Fitzroy Island – Cairns

1

Coast Safe Report 2015

29


Section 03 Other incidents


Dangerous marine creatures incidents

SLSQ also reviews other deaths, involving dangerous marine creatures, that have occurred in Queensland public waters. These include shark attacks, crocodile attacks and marine stings. Tracking these incidents helps SLSQ identify future black-spots in Queensland, and introduce preventative measures to minimise risk and increase public awareness.

8 year statistics – Irukandji stings Season

Irukandji stings on record

2007/08

8

2008/09

10

2009/10

1

2010/11

11

2011/12

16

2012/13

2

2013/14

6

2014/15

7

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Surf Life Saving Queensland

22 year statistics – marine creature fatalities Year

Location of fatality

Marine creature

1993

Jardine River, Far North QLD

Crocodile

2000

Yarrabah, Cairns

Box jellyfish

2002

Hamilton Island, Whitsundays

Irukandji

2002

Opal Reef, Cairns

Irukandji

2002

Miami Lake, Gold Coast

Bull shark

2003

Burleigh Lake, Gold Coast

Bull shark

2004

Opal Reef, Cairns

Whaler shark

2005

Normanby River, Far North QLD

Crocodile

2006

Bamaga, Umagico

Box jellyfish

2006

Amity Point, North Stradbroke Island

Bull shark

2009

Wongaling, Mission Beach

Box jellyfish

2009

Daintree River, North QLD

Crocodile

2011

Bushie Inlet, Cairncross Island, North QLD

Crocodile

2011

Challenger Bay, Palm Island

Tiger shark

2014

Rudder Reef, Port Douglas

Tiger shark


Marine sting treatment. Photo by Anita Langenberg


Section 04 Our services


Staying in touch with our services

As the state’s peak authority on aquatic rescue, SLSQ is constantly looking at how it can increase and improve its services and successful implementation in the community. Across the past 12 months alone, a number of new initiatives were introduced, and existing services expanded, to increase our reach along Queensland’s coastline and offer greater protection for swimmers and beachgoers. Importantly, SLSQ remains committed at all levels to adopting innovative practices and forward thinking to eliminate drownings in Queensland waters.

Case study: Beacons and cameras SLSQ continues to embrace technology in a bid to protect swimmers and save lives. For the past eight years, SLSQ has been working directly with one of Australia’s leading coastal technology organisations, CoastalCOMS, to develop and roll-out an extensive network of beach surveillance systems at selected beaches across the state. Positioned at unpatrolled locations and identified ‘blackspots’, the cameras seek to improve and increase our patrol capabilities, while at the same time providing SLSQ with access to a live stream of information about beach usage and conditions. The cameras also allow SLSQ to review key incidents, assess behaviour patterns of swimmers, and evaluate the performance of lifesavers and lifeguards as part of our commitment to continuous improvement across all areas. There are currently 36 cameras installed at identified high-risk locations in Queensland. These cameras are monitored 365 days of the year by trained lifesavers and lifeguards at SLSQ’s two communication centres in south east Queensland. In addition to this camera network, SLSQ has also worked with local councils to roll-out portable emergency response beacons at key locations, which have proved successful across a number of years. These beacons provide an important and instantaneous

Key initiatives from 2014/15 season include:

Digital radios • SLSQ transitioned from analog to digital radios in SEQ (from Rainbow Bay to Hervey Bay).

Emergency response beacons and cameras • Emergency response beacons and cameras were installed at Elliott Heads, Innes Park, Mon Repos Beach and Wild Cattle Creek. • The implementation of a portable Emergency Response Beacon at Magnetic Island.

communication link between unpatrolled locations and Surf Life Saving services, and can be used around the clock to directly alert SLSQ if a beachgoer is in danger and requires immediate assistance. Following extensive research and advancements in technology, SLSQ has been able to take this one step further by introducing a number of permanent beacons attached to coastal cameras at identified black-spots. This has increased our surveillance capacity and allows for around-the-clock coverage at these highrisk locations. A beacon and camera was installed at Elliott Heads river mouth in February 2015 following a number of fatalities at the location across the past five years. Since its installation, the technology has been used to help SLSQ assist a number of kite surfers. This technology has also been installed at Mon Repos Beach, Innis Park and Wild Cattle Creek in Tannum Sands.

Vital funding from the Queensland Government ensures that SLSQ has the resources and trained personnel to provide safer beaches, protect swimmers and extend services across the state.

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Emergency response groups and emergency phone • SLSQ’s emergency response groups (ERGs) continue to strengthen and now operate in all regions across the state. A number of SLSQ’s ERGs were placed on standby to assist during Tropical Cyclone Marcia.

Lifeguard service • The introduction of a lifeguard service at Wellington Point within the Redland City Council region across the peak summer months. • Lifeguard services were boosted on Green Island in Cairns, including the employment of a third permanent lifeguard for year-round patrols.

Night time operations • Night operations training on the Gold Coast is regularly conducted to ensure SLSQ crews have the necessary skills and experience to respond to search and rescues after-hours.

Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service • Expansion of aerial surveillance across South East Queensland.

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Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service (WLRHS) remains a core lifesaving weapon for SLSQ across South East Queensland. One of the longest serving community-based helicopter rescue services in the world, it has been operating across Queensland for almost four decades. With a highly-trained team of skilled men and women, encompassing experienced pilots, professional staff and volunteer members, the service exists for one reason and one reason only: to save lives.

Today the WLRHS is a full-time service, operating 365 days a year and providing coastal surveillance and search and rescue support to lifeguards, surf lifesavers and other emergency service agencies as required. In 2014/15, SLSQ’s two helicopters – Lifesaver 45 and Lifesaver 46 – combined to perform 403 surf patrols, 200 preventative actions and directly save 15 lives in the process.

Case Study: Westpac Helicopter rescue From the sea to the sky, the surf lifesaving movement remains committed at all levels to saving lives and eliminating drownings across Queensland. In April 2015, SLSQ’s Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service was performing a routine aerial patrol on the Sunshine Coast. Unseasonably hot weather across the school holiday period had resulted in large crowds of beachgoers. While on a south-bound patrol, Lifesaver 46 spotted three swimmers caught in a strong rip off the headland between Mooloolaba and Alexandra Headland, on an unpatrolled strip of the coastline known to locals as ‘Dead Man’s Beach’. One of the gentlemen was submerged under the water, and was only able to stay afloat thanks to assistance from another member of the public. Helicopter crew members immediately contacted SLSQ’s surf communications centre (SurfCom), alerting them to the situation and requesting urgent assistance from nearby surf life saving clubs. Inflatable rescue boats from Mooloolaba and Alexandra Headland were immediately dispatched to the scene. A helicopter rescue swimmer entered the water and quickly secured the submerged male, lifting him out of the water. The patient showed no signs of life, with no pulse, prompting crews to seek additional urgent assistance from SurfCom and the Queensland Ambulance Service. Rescue crewmen immediately began administering CPR on the gentleman and applied a defibrillator, after which he regained a pulse but remained unconscious. Additional breathing support was provided to the patient before he was handed over to QAS officers and transported to Nambour General Hospital. While this was taking place, volunteer surf lifesavers were able to rescue the other two men using IRBs. They were also in a serious condition and transported to hospital. Surf lifesavers from Mooloolaba and Alexandra Headland SLSCs worked quickly and efficiently alongside helicopter crews and QAS officers to rescue and treatment the patients. Thankfully, all three men survived. However, had it not been for the training and response of trained helicopter crew and surf lifesavers, it could have been a different story.

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Surf Life Saving Queensland


Lifesaver 45 and Lifesaver 46


Australian Lifeguard Service Queensland

The Australian Lifeguard Service Queensland (ALSQ) is the professional arm of SLSQ, providing integral support to local governments, land managers and private resorts along beaches and waterways located across the state.

Case Study: Tim Wilson, 2013-14 Australian Lifeguard of the Year On 3 September 2014, one of SLSQ’s professional lifeguards, Tim Wilson, was on duty at Main Beach on North Stradbroke Island. The daily patrol commenced with relatively calm surf conditions, however, as the day progressed, an increase in swell and inshore currents led to more unstable conditions in the water. With that in mind, Tim narrowed the flagged area to ensure that lifeguards could effectively monitor the situation and protect all swimmers. By 4pm, the surf conditions had deteriorated further, prompting lifeguards to officially close the beach to members of the public. This was signified using a red flag. Despite the beach closure, a number of surfers remained in the water, with lifeguards continuing to watch over from the headland. At approximately 4:55pm, Tim completed one final observatory loop of the beach before his scheduled finishing for the day, when he noticed a surfer who appeared to be struggling in the water and seemingly unable to make it back to shore. Tim observed the surfer falling off his board and immediately went to assist, radioing a fellow lifeguard on duty for assistance before launching the patrol jet ski. Both lifeguards entered the water and quickly reached the swimmer, who was approximately 150 metres from shore. The patient was exhibiting signs of exhaustion. The man told lifeguards that he was recovering from a long-term illness and had severely underestimated the challenging and unpredictable surf conditions. Thankfully, lifeguards were able to respond quickly and effectively to prevent a beach-related fatality. However, it could have easily been a different story were it not for their training and quick-thinking.

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Surf Life Saving Queensland

The ALSQ is the largest provider of professional lifeguard services in the state, operating at more than 70 locations in Queensland. Many of these sites are patrolled seven days a week, 365 days of the year. The ALSQ is made up of 68 permanent lifeguards and 339 casual employees. Their experience is unparalleled, with the team boasting 1,445 collective years of experience between them and more than 1.3 million career patrol hours. Across the past year, ALSQ lifeguards performed 12,458 first aid treatments, 522,462 preventative actions saved 1,435 lives.

522,462

12,458

PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS

FIRST AID TREATMENTS

LIVES SAVED

Organisation

Number of services

Years of service

Port Douglas Shire Council

1

25

Cairns Regional Council

10

25

Cassowary Coast Regional Council

3

19

Hinchinbrook Shire Council

1

19

Townsville City Council

8

24

Burdekin Shire Council

1

22

Mackay Regional Council

5

23

Livingstone Shire Council

2

22

Gladstone Regional Council

2

22

Bundaberg Regional Council

7

22

Fraser Coast Regional Council

1

22

Gympie Regional Council

1

21

Noosa Shire Council

6

2

Sunshine Coast Council

20

2

Moreton Bay Regional Council

1

19

Southbank Corporation

1

22

Redland City Council

3

21

TOTAL 17 partners

73 services


A senior Australian Lifeguard keeps a watch over a North Stradbroke Island beach

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Community Awareness

SLSQ successfully delivers a number of education and awareness initiatives specifically targeting key stakeholders, including schools and land managers, designed to protect beachgoers and prevent coastal drownings.

Breaka Beach to Bush Traditionally speaking, beachgoers who live more than 50km away from the surf have been over-represented in both state and national drowning figures. For more than a decade, SLSQ has successfully delivered vital water safety messages to young children in rural and regional Queensland through the Breaka Beach to Bush program. The program provides school students in regional locations with an introduction to surf lifesaving and some of the vital skills and knowledge that are required to stay safe on the beach and other aquatic environments. This demographic of young children are often less familiar with the surf and its potential dangers and, with that in mind, the Breaka Beach to Bush program seeks to educate them before they even step foot on the sand. Run by qualified surf lifesavers, the initiative educates young students about the surf, rip currents and dangerous marine creatures, equipping them with strategies to effectively manage their own safety in the water.

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Surf Life Saving Queensland

The Breaka Beach to Bush initiative began in Queensland more than ten years ago and, since then, it has been adopted and delivered by Surf Life Saving authorities in other states across the country. Today it is one of the largest and most innovative surf education programs in Australia and, on average, reaches more than 60 schools and 8,000 students each and every year in Queensland alone.

Queensland Health Beach Safe Schools The Queensland Health Beach Safe Schools program was developed to educate primary school students across Queensland about surf and water safety. The program aims to provide students with strategies to manage their own risk in the water, while teaching them potentially life saving skills and knowledge at the same time. Operating across Queensland, the Beach Safe Schools program sees qualified surf lifesavers deliver vital water safety messages via classroom education sessions. Each year the program travels to approximately 130 schools and educates more than 50,000 students about how to stay safe on Queensland beaches. Armed with beach signs, safety flags and rescue boards, the practical 45-60 minute session involves the FLAGS principle, warning signs, a demonstration of basic surf rescue equipment and an interactive session to teach children important safety skills in a fun and interactive environment.


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Aquatic auditing and risk assessments

As the peak advisory body on beach safety, SLSQ provides auditing and public safety risk assessments on beach management and coastal risk management around Queensland, with a number of positive outcomes resulting from this service. SLSQ works with Australian CoastSafe, the strategic and intelligence beach safety unit of SLSA. CoastSafe was developed to gather data on all beaches around Australia and establish a framework to deliver a safer aquatic environment. From a state perspective, SLSQ’s CoastSafe offers services to all levels of government, private developers and the tourism industry to reduce the risk of injury or coastal deaths along the Queensland coastline and other public waterways. Considered to be the most comprehensive beach safety management program in the world, Queensland has benefited greatly from the assessments and audits undertaken as part of this program. SLSQ continues to maintain the employment of a dedicated Coastal Safety Officer to conduct coastal audits of black spot locations, analyse fatality data, and provide recommendations to improve safety and lower the state’s drowning figures.

Across the past 12 months the following initiatives were undertaken by SLSQ on behalf of various key stakeholders and land managers:

Redland City Council • SLSQ conducted a public safety risk assessment for the Redland City Council • Ongoing advice in relation to Australian Standard beach safety signage for the coastal mainland areas • SLSQ regularly consulted with the Redland City Council in regards to its mainland and North Stradbroke Island surf safety signage

Cairns Regional Council • SLSQ conducted a desktop audit for Marchan Beach Seawall

Noosa Shire Council • SLSQ conducted a public safety risk assessment for Noosa Shire Council • SLSQ designed and developed surf safety signage for the Noosa North Shore Wilderness Camp emergency beacon

Sunshine Coast Council • SLSQ conducted a public safety risk assessment for the Sunshine Coast Council

Council of the City of Gold Coast • The organisation consulted with the Council of the City of Gold Coast about beach safety signage at Broadwater and Tallebudgera Creek on the Gold Coast

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Surf Life Saving Queensland


Queensland Coroner • SLSQ provided the Queensland Coroner with a copy of all aquatic public safety risk assessments

Queensland Ambulance Service • SLSQ provided QAS with beach access emergency marker numbers and details surrounding the accesses

Queensland Parks and Wildlife • SLSQ representatives met with Queensland Parks and Wildlife directors to discuss a standard approach to beach safety signage

Drowning data analysis • Analysis of coastal drowning death information provided to SLSA through the NCIS

Black-spot • Identification of key Queensland black-spots based on drowning statistics, near drownings, rescues, preventative action, first aid and visitations to the area

Standard approach to beach safety signage • SLSQ continues to provide advice to and lobby for all land managers, stakeholders and councils to implement a standard approach to beach safety signage, directly relating to current Australian Standards and the National Aquatic and Recreational Signage Style Manual

Internal beach-related coastal drowning investigations • SLSQ conducted a series of internal investigations into beach-related coastal drowning deaths Example only

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Methodology and research

Methodology

Drowning data analysis

Contained within SLSQ’s Coast Safe Report 2015 is information obtained by SLSQ major incident notification forms, media analysis and SLSA. This information has been verified with National Coronial Information System (NCIS) data for coastal drowning deaths for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.

SLSQ routinely collects data and information on key coastal incidents and deaths from SurfGuard’s Incident Report Database (IRD), SurfCom, SLSA, the NCIS and media reports. This information is verified and compiled for analysis by SLSQ’s Operations Department.

While all care has been taken to ensure that statistical information included within this report is accurate, please note that data may be amended over time following the outcome of coronial investigations, which are ongoing at time of print.

Capability and rescue analysis SurfGuard, the Incident Report Database (IRD), and SurfCom management system (SurfCom) are web-based applications making up part of a suite of applications that enable members, clubs, branches, states and SLSA to enter and access Surf Life Saving data, including operational (including rescues and first aids), capability (including assets and services), educational and administrative. Information extracted from SurfGuard can be used to identify how many rescues were performed by volunteers, lifeguards and support services during the 2014/15 season.

The following variables are used to match drowning cases from more than one data source: incident date; location; age; gender; and incident description. For the purposes of SLSQ’s reporting, deaths are excluded if: • They are classified by authorities as ‘intentional deaths’; or • They occurred at inland/ocean locations.

Drowning data limitations As part of the NCIS process, some cases are amended prior to their closure, resulting in changes to the classification of cases in our datasets. Therefore, the number of coastal drowning deaths published in this report may differ slightly from annual totals previously reported. It is noted that our current year’s data may change with closure of investigations. Once a closure occurs to NCIS cases we can modify undetermined cases, those with unknown intent, and those where the cause of death is not drowning. All deaths known to have occurred in coastal waters have been included as coastal drowning deaths, unless otherwise stated by the NCIS.

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Surf Life Saving Queensland


Our clubs

North Queensland Port Douglas Ellis Beach Cairns Etty Bay Mission Beach

North Barrier Forrest Beach Arcadian Picnic Bay Ayr Bowen Eimeo Mackay Sarina

Wide Bay Capricorn Yeppoon Emu Park Tannum Sands Agnes Water Moore Park Bundaberg Elliott Heads Hervey Bay

Sunshine Coast Rainbow Beach Noosa Heads Sunshine Beach  Coolum Beach Marcoola Mudjimba Maroochydore Alexandra Headland Mooloolaba Kawana Waters Dicky Beach Metropolitan Caloundra Bribie Island Redcliffe

South Coast Point Lookout Coochiemudlo Island Southport Surfers Paradise Northcliffe  Broadbeach Kurrawa Mermaid Beach Nobbys Beach Miami Beach North Burleigh Burleigh Heads/Mowbray Park

Point Danger Tallebudgera Pacific Palm Beach Currumbin Tugun Bilinga North Kirra Kirra Coolangatta Tweed Heads & Coolangatta Rainbow Bay


Glossary

Advanced Resuscitation Techniques - A certification providing the skills and knowledge required to use specialised equipment in the provision of resuscitation in line with the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) guidelines. ALS - Australian Lifeguard Service. Apply First Aid - A certification providing the skills and knowledge required to provide a first aid response to a casualty. Attempting a rescue - An individual who makes an effort to remove someone from a dangerous situation. AWSC - Australian Water Safety Council—also Australian Water Safety Conference. AWSS - Australian Water Safety Strategy. Bay - A body of water partially enclosed by land but with a wide mouth, affording access to the sea. Beach - An expanse of sand or pebbles along a shoreline. Beach-related coastal drowning death - A death by immersion or submersion that has occurred in a beach environment. Blackspot - An area with a high concentration of coastal/ocean incidents and a high probability/risk of ongoing reoccurrence. Boating - Individuals using either a powered vessel or sailing boat for pleasure and/or fishing. Coastal - The foreshore, seabed, coastal water and air space above a large body of water (harbour/bay/inlet), including areas up to 2NM offshore and of which the landward boundary is the line of mean high water, except that where that line crosses a river/inlet, the landward boundary at that point shall be the point upstream that is calculated by multiplying the width of the river/inlet mouth by 5. (Adopted from the Resource Management Amendment Act 1993-New Zealand). Coastal death - A fatality arising from various circumstances occurring (e.g. heart attack, boat collision, fall, shark attack) where the location of the death is coastal. Coastal drowning death - Where the location of the drowning is on the coast, in the ocean up to 2NM offshore or inland up to five times the width of the inlet/river. COD - Cause of death Creek - A small stream that can be shallow and can be an inlet into a shoreline. Crude drowning rate - A comparative rate of drowning to the size of the population in that area. Dam - A barrier constructed across a waterway to control the raise or flow of a body of water. Dangerous surf warning - An alert issued by the Bureau of Meteorology indicating that surf conditions in an area are unsafe for

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Surf Life Saving Queensland

coastal activities. The warnings are calculated based on wave height, swell direction and swell period. Diving - Engaging in recreational or commercial scuba diving. Drowning - The process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid. Drowning death - A fatality arising from the process of respiratory impairment as a result of submersion/immersion in liquid. Estuary - A partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers/streams flowing into it with a connection to the open sea. Emergency response - An action taken by an SLS entity in response to a call for assistance from an emergency management organisation. Falls - A large volume or small natural stream of flowing water into a creek or river. First Aid - Immediate or emergency assistance given on the spot to people suffering from illness or injury. Fishing - The act of catching fish. Foreign ethnicity - Individuals who identify with a cultural group other than Australian based on heritage, language or shared customs. This identification is extrapolated from reported data such as the individuals’ country of birth and the main language spoken at home. Hazard - The potential origin of danger, injury or difficulty. ILS - International Life Saving Federation. Inland waters - Are aquatic-influenced environment locations within land boundaries. This includes those located in coastal areas and adjacent to marine environments. Inland drowning death - A fatality arising from the impairment of respiratory function as a result of immersion in liquid, where the location of the drowning is not considered coastal but occurs in an inland body of water such as a river, lake, creek or dam. Inlet - A small or narrow inland opening to the coastline International - An individual who is confirmed to reside overseas and/or is a temporary visitor to Australia. IRB - Inflatable rescue boat. Inshore - A shoreline in the fringe of land at the edge of a large body of water. JRB - Jet rescue boat. Lake - An inland body of water surrounded by land. Leisure activity - An activity commenced on land such as play, walking, jogging or cycling. Lifeguard - Typically a paid employee at a beach or another aquatic environment whose role is to rescue people in danger of


drowning or prevent them getting into that situation. Lifejacket - A buoyant or inflatable garment or device designed to keep a person afloat in water and increase their likelihood of survival. Lifesaving service - A service that exists to provide aquatic safety services to the public. Local Government Area (LGA) - Also known as local councils, LGAs include cities, towns, shires, municipalities or boroughs. Marina/jetty - A boat basin offering dockage and other service for small craft, or a pier/wharf. NCIS - National Coronial Information System. Ocean drowning death - Where the location of the drowning is in the ocean further than 2NM offshore, but no further than 12NM. Open ocean - The seabed, water and air space above the water between 2NM and 12NM (the Australian territorial waters limit) offshore. ORB - Offshore rescue boat. Other - An uncommon known activity not otherwise listed (e.g. paragliding, aircraft crash, fall from pier). Patrol - Surf lifesavers or lifeguards actively supervising a coastal location. Patrolled location - A location supervised constantly or periodically by a lifesaving service. Prevention - Where intervention by a lifesaving resource averts a person/s from getting into a potentially life-threatening situation. Rescue - Where intervention by a lifesaving resource removes a person/s from a life-threatening or potentially life-threatening situation. Resuscitation - Preservation or restoration of life by establishing and maintaining a person’s airway, breathing and circulation. RIB - Rigid-hull inflatable boat. Rip current - A narrow seaward flowing current of water moving through a surf zone (Short, 2003). River - A natural stream of water flowing into an ocean or bay. Rock/cliff - A rocky shoreline that may or may not have a high steep face. Rock/cliff related - An activity besides fishing that is performed on a rocky shoreline or off a groyne. Rock-fishing death - A fatality arising from various circumstances occurring (e.g. wave motion, loss of footing) where the victim was participating in fishing activities on a rocky coast immediately prior to or during the incident. RWC - Rescue water craft - sometimes called a personal water craft.

Service season and hours - Vary between states due to climatic factors, but in the context of this report, the season is for the period July 2014 to June 2015. SLSA - Surf Life Saving Australia. SLSQ - Surf Life Saving Queensland. Snorkelling - Swimming with a snorkel and face mask. Stream - A continuous flow of water. Support operations - Rapid response rescue units, not affiliated to any specific surf life saving club. Surf Life Saving Club - A not-for-profit organisation that provides coastal safety services. Surf lifesaver - Typically a volunteer at a beach or another aquatic environment whose role is to rescue people in danger of drowning or prevent them getting into that situation. Surfcom - SLS radio communications centre which assists in managing the communications of lifesaving operations and data collection. Swimming - Being active while immersed in water. Total Service Plan - An assessment of current and future lifesaving resources, trends, national blackspots and coastal safety issues combined with evidenced-based mitigation strategies to address these issues. Undetermined - Cases that are not associated with a closed coroner’s report on NCIS are often left ‘undetermined’ until an official cause of death has been determined. Some examples are cases where bodies have been found washed up on the beach, reports of individuals struggling in coastal environments are made and the bodies are not found/missing persons reports are not made, or a suspected heart attack in a coastal environment rather than death due to immersion. These deaths will all be followed up on and the incident category updated once coroner determinations are made accessible. Wading - A person who is partially immersed in water while standing. Watercraft - A piece of non-powered recreational equipment used in the water. Examples include surfboards, boogie boards, windsurfers or kayaks. WLRHS - Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service.

Coast Safe Report 2015

49


Surf Life Saving Queensland Surf Rescue House, 18 Manning Street, South Brisbane QLD 4101 PO Box 3747, South Brisbane QLD 4101 +61 7 3846 8000 • lifesaving.com.au

Surf Life Saving Queensland Coast Safe Report 2015  

Surf Life Saving Queensland's (SLSQ) Coast Safe Report provides a snapshot of coastal incidents and highlights some of the key initiatives t...

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