Page 1

N ATION AL COA S TAL SAFE T Y RE POR T 2017 S U R F L I FE S AV I N G AU S T R A L I A


DROWNING S N A P S H OT

COASTAL & OCEAN DROWNING DEATHS

MALE

FEMALE Location

AT THE BEACH

OFFSHORE

ROCK/CLIFF

AT LEAST 5KM FROM A LIFESAVING SERVICE

Activity

28% SWIMMING

14%

SNORKELLING

23% BOATING & PWC

9%

WATERCRAFT

3 26

10 15

22 32 8


CONTENTS IN T RO D U C T I O N

06

S EC TION ONE: COM MUNIT Y

04

S EC TION THRE E: DROWNING A N A LYS IS

32

AUS T R A L I A N P O PU L AT I O N

08

N AT I O N A L OV ERV IE W

34

COA S TA L V I S I TAT I O N

09

D ROWNIN G LO C AT I O N S

40

AC T I V I T Y PA RT I CIPAT I O N

10

NE W S O U T H WA L E S

42

FREQ U EN T VS O CC A S I O N A L

13

Q U EEN S L A ND

44

S WI M M IN G A B IL I T Y

14

V I C TO RI A

46

WE S T ERN AUS T R A L I A

48

S A FE T Y PR AC T I CE S 15 RI S K PERCEP T I O N

16

S O U T H AUS T R A L I A

50

F E AT U R E: RIP CU RREN T S

18

TA S M A NI A

52

N O RT HERN T ERRI TO RY

54

F E AT U R E: S H A RK S 19

20

S EC TION T WO: C A PA B ILIT Y C A PA B IL I T Y

22

M EM B ER S HIP C A PACI T Y

25

RE S CU E S

27

PRE V EN TAT I V E AC T I O N S

28

FIR S T A ID

29

F E AT U R E: B L ACK S P OT S

30

G LOS S A RY

56

REFEREN CE

58


INTRODUCTION

M

illions of people each year enjoy recreating at what is arguably Australia’s favourite playground, the beach. From spending time with the family, enjoying a swim, through to surfing and participating in water sports, a visit to the coast is part of everyday life. While many memories are created at the beach, too often there are situations which result in injury or even in the loss of life. Research into coastal related deaths has become a key element for Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) to understand what, where, when and how these incidents have occurred. This evidence based approach to understanding coastal related deaths allows Surf Life Saving (SLS) to develop initiatives and preventative measures to minimise incidents in the future. Every life is precious, and our view is that one death is one too many. The National Coastal Safety Report 2017 provides a detailed analysis of coastal drowning deaths in 2016-17, including research on participation trends, risk perception and the actions undertaken by SLS services. In 2016-17, a total of 152 coastal related deaths were recorded with 116 of these being a result of drowning. Of the 116 drowning fatalities, 83% were male, a reduction of 7% from the previous year. Twenty-six per cent of coastal drowning deaths occurred less than one kilometre from a Surf Life Saving service, although 53% of these did not occur during patrol hours or season. Deaths while swimming/wading (28%) have decreased by 18 per cent from 39 to 32 incidents, while snorkelling (14%) has increased from 10 to 16 incidents on the previous year. According to the 2017 SLSA National Coastal Safety Survey the number of people participating in swimming and wading at the coast has increased by four per cent (9.7 million in 2016 to 10.1 million in 2017). Of note only 39% report they usually swim at patrolled beaches during patrol hours. There is a continued commitment to the Australian Water Safety Strategy 2016-2020 to reduce drowning deaths, both fatal and non-fatal. The research into non-fatal drowning incidents has

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

shown the occurrence of them is increasing which does result in significant long-term impacts within the community. The strategy recognises the fact that the loss of life at any aquatic location is not something to be accepted, but to be challenged.

THIS EVIDENCE BASED APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING COASTAL RELATED DEATHS ALLOWS SLS TO DEVELOP INITIATIVES AND PREVENTATIVE MEASURES TO MINIMISE INCIDENTS IN THE FUTURE. Using a holistic approach to drowning prevention, the National Coastal Safety Report 2017 recognises that drowning is only one factor in the analysis that informs sound decision making regarding coastal safety. This report has been developed to include research on first aid treatments and preventative actions, as well as visitation and perceptions relating to coastal hazards. These analyses provide SLS with critical evidence to understand and address water safety and education for the community. I commend this report to you as a vital tool to assist in understanding and reducing drowning deaths on Australia’s coast.

Melissa King Chief Executive Surf Life Saving Australia

04

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


T O TA L S E R V I C E P L A N

T

he Total Service Plan is SLSA’s national drowning reduction strategy and service plan. It is created using an iterative process of analysis and review to identify coastal safety issues of national importance. This approach follows the public health model and is consistent with international risk management principles. In collaboration with stakeholders, SLSA identifies coastal safety risks using incident monitoring, coastal risk assessments and participation analysis. This information is analysed via trend and target identification, Global Information System (GIS) plotting and critical incident analysis to identify the top national coastal safety issues, priorities and blackspot areas that require intervention or mitigation strategies.

The coastal safety needs of the Australian community reflected in the National Safety Agenda and the Surf Life Saving movement’s capacity and capability to meet these needs are explored in the ‘Capability’ section of this report.

Context Drowning Statistics Non-fatal Drowning Data Operational Statistics Market Research Population Data Participation/Behaviour Data

Coastal Safety Hub

THE NATIONAL SAFETY AGENDA The issues and blackspots identified through the Total Service Plan process form the basis of SLSA’s National Safety Agenda. The agenda influences lifesaving operations, including Communication services and equipment allocation. It and Consultation drives public education, including Market Research evidence-based mitigation strategies, Stakeholder Consultation Councils, Committees communications campaigns and pilot and Groups projects, and informs SLSA’s research Conferences and Forums plan. Each component of the agenda is regularly reviewed, evaluated and revised as new evidence and data become available. The Total Service Plan takes a risk management approach. It allows SLSA to use the evidence to ensure we locate lifesaving services and assets in areas of need and have appropriate public education programs and mitigation strategies to address the coastal safety issues and known blackspots. Embedded in the process is continual monitoring and evaluation of evidence, policies, strategies and programs to ensure the treatments and interventions are effective in reducing drowning deaths along the Australian coast.

Risk Assessment

Risk Identification Incident Tracking Capability Statement Participation/Behaviour Analysis

National Risk Register Coastal Risk Assessments

Analysis Coastal Safety Briefs Trend Identification GIS Analysis

Critical Incident Analysis Target Identification Case Studies

Monitoring and Evaluation Monitor Trends Monitor and Evaluate Service/ Asset Deployment Evaluate Pilot Programs Evaluate Research

Evaluation National Coastal Safety Report Strategic Research Agenda

National Safety Agenda National Coastal Safety Issues Blackspot Identification

Treatment/Intervention Lifesaving and Support Services Blackspot Reduction Program Beach Safety Equipment Fund Communication Campaigns Public Education and Training Early Warning Systems

Figure 1

NATIONAL SAFETY AGENDA ISSUES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Rip Currents Boating Rock Fishing Watercraft Toxicity and Health International Tourists

7. Snorkelling and Scuba Diving 8. Over 55 Years 9. Dangerous Marine Creatures 10. New Migrants

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

TOTAL SERVICE PLAN PROCESS OVERVIEW The Total Service Plan aligns with the International Standard AS-ISO 31000:2009 framework, which provides principles and guidelines for risk management.

05

INTRODUCTION


COMMUNIT Y SECTION ONE

10.1M

1 IN 4

71%

Swimming Participants

Cannot float for more than a few minutes in the ocean

Turn to Lifeguards/ Surf Life Saving as the Coastal Safety Authority


A U S T R A L I A N P O P U L AT I O N

Figure 2

AUSTRALIAN POPULATION DENSITY PER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA (LGA) This map shows the estimated Australian population density per LGA at June 2016. Most LGAs with a population density higher than 100 persons per square kilometre are located on Australia’s coastal fringe.

Key to Population Density per LGA < 0.1 persons per km2

Darwin

0.1–1 persons per km2 1–10 persons per km2 10–100 persons per km2 > 100 persons per km2

Brisbane

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

Canberra 0

1,000km

Melbourne

SCALE

Hobart

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

08

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


C O A S TA L V I S I TAT I O N

Scuba Diving

Total – 2% less often 5+ times per week 1-3 times per month 1-4 times per week 5+ times per week

Total – 4%

PWC Rock Fishing

Total – 6%

Surfing

Total – 10%

Watercraft

Total – 11%

Snorkelling

Total – 15%

Land-based Fishing

Total – 19%

Boating

Total – 21%

Swimming

Total – 62% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

Figure 3

2017: COASTAL VISITATION BY ACTIVITY Questions: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? How often do you participate in these activities?

Swimming 10.1 million swimmers 3.1 million frequent swimmers (at least once a month) 4 swimming hours per occasional swimmer per year 90 swimming hours per frequent swimmer per year

FREQUENT VS OCCASIONAL PARTICIPATION There are 13.7 million visitors to the coast at least once per year and an average of 3.5 visits per month.

Watercraft

Surfing

1.8 million watercraft users 0.5 million frequent watercraft users (at least once a month) 4 watercraft hours per occasional watercraft user per year 120 watercraft hours per frequent watercraft user per year

1.7 million surfers 0.8 million frequent surfers (at least once a month) 5 surfing hours per occasional surfer per year 195 surfing hours per frequent surfer per year

Land-based Fishing

Rock Fishing

3.1 million fishers 0.9 million frequent fishers (at least once a month) 9 fishing hours per occasional fisher per year 125 fishing hours per frequent fisher per year

1.1 million rock fishers 0.5 million frequent rock fishers (at least once a month) 12 fishing hours per occasional rock fisher per year 135 fishing hours per frequent rock fisher per year

Scuba Diving

Snorkelling

0.4 million scuba divers 0.1 million frequent scuba divers (at least once a month) 4 diving hours per occasional diver per year 110 diving hours per frequent diver per year

2.4 million snorkellers 0.4 million frequent snorkellers (at least once a month) 3 snorkelling hours per occasional snorkeller per year 115 snorkelling hours per frequent snorkeller per year

Boating

Personal Water Craft (PWC)

3.4 million boaters 0.9 million frequent boaters (at least once a month) 10 boating hours per occasional boater per year 140 boating hours per frequent boater per year

0.7 million PWC users 0.2 million frequent PWC users (at least once a month) 6 PWC hours per occasional PWC user per year 110 PWC hours per frequent PWC user per year

SECTION ONE

09

COMMUNIT Y


A C T I V I T Y P A R T I C I P AT I O N C OA S TA L AC T I V I T Y PA R T I C I PA N T S: D E M O G R A PH I C & LO C AT I O N S E L E C T I O N

2017: WATERCRAFT

2017: SWIMMING/WADING

52%

10.1M Swimming/ Wading

44%

1.8M Watercraft

48%

56% Female Male

Female Male

FIGURE 4

FIGURE 6

2017: SWIMMING/WADING PARTICIPATION BY GENDER

2017: WATERCRAFT PARTICIPATION BY GENDER

62%

NSW

68%

QLD

10%

SA 60%

TAS

63%

NT

12%

WA

48%

TAS

9%

VIC 68%

WA SA

12%

QLD

58%

VIC

62% 13%

NSW

60%16% 11%

NT

FIGURE 5

FIGURE 7

2017: SWIMMING/WADING PARTICIPATION BY STATE

2017: WATERCRAFT PARTICIPATION BY STATE

HOW SWIMMERS SELECT LOCATION

40% PATROLLED LOCATION

60% SAFETY

63%

17%

CRAFT USE BY PARTICIPANTS

55% 37% 16%

WEATHER

55% SEA/SURF CONDITIONS

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

OF PEOPLE AGED 16-34 PARTICIPATE IN WATERCRAFT ACTIVITIES

KAYAK

STAND UP PADDLE BOARD

CANOE

10

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


2017: BOATING & PWC

2017: FISHING Land-based Fishing

Rock Fishing

42%

43%

3.4M

3.1M

32%

Boating & PWC

Land-based &

58%

1.1M Rock

57%

68%

Female Male

Female Male

FIGURE 8

FIGURE 10

2017: BOATING AND PWC PARTICIPATION BY GENDER

2017: FISHING PARTICIPATION BY TYPE AND GENDER

20%

NSW

28%

QLD

Land-based Fishing Rock Fishing

16%

NSW

62%

5%

29%

QLD

9%

18%

VIC

VIC

24%

WA 18%

SA

23%

WA

13%

60%

23%

TAS

13% 3%

19%

SA

NT

4%

43%

11%

15%

TAS

7%

FIGURE 9

24%

NT

2017: BOATING AND PWC PARTICIPATION BY STATE

8%

FIGURE 11

2017: FISHING PARTICIPATION BY TYPE AND STATE

41%

25%

GO TO BAYS OR HARBOURS

CRAFT USE BY PARTICIPANTS

83% 14% 20%

% OF PEOPLE AGED 16-69 WHO PARTICIPATE

19% 7%

POWERBOAT

SAILBOAT

PEOPLE AGED 16-34 PARTICIPATE IN FISHING ACTIVITIES

LAND-BASED FISHING

ROCK FISHING

PWC

SECTION ONE

11

COMMUNIT Y


A C T I V I T Y P A R T I C I P AT I O N C OA S TA L AC T I V I T Y PA R T I C I PA N T S: D E M O G R A PH I C & LO C AT I O N S E L E C T I O N

2017: SURFING

2017: SNORKELLING & SCUBA DIVING Snorkelling

Scuba

33%

43%

1.7M Surfing

46%

2.4M Snorkelling &

0.4M Scuba Diving

67% 54%

57% Female Male

Female Male

FIGURE 12

FIGURE 14

2017: SURFING PARTICIPATION BY GENDER

2017: SNORKELLING AND SCUBA DIVING PARTICIPATION BY GENDER Scuba Diving

Snorkelling NT 28%

11%

NSW

9% 20%

TAS 15%

QLD

7%

SA

4% 13%

VIC 11%

WA

1%

14%

QLD

1%

16%

NSW

6%

SA

2% 7%

50+ 6%

TAS NT

1%

17%

35-49

2%

19%

25-34

5%

6%

18%

WA

8%

VIC

3%

4%

20%

16-24 30%

25%

20%

3% 15%

10%

5%

0%

5%

FIGURE 13

FIGURE 15

2017: SURFING PARTICIPATION BY STATE

2017: SCUBA DIVING AND SNORKELLING PARTICIPATION BY STATE AND AGE GROUP

10% 28% OF ADULTS SURF

15% OF ADULTS GO SNORKELLING

HAVE PERFORMED A RESCUE WHILE SURFING

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

12

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017

2% OF ADULTS GO SCUBA DIVING

10%


FREQUENT VS OCCASIONAL PA R T I C I PA N T D I F F E R E N C E S & S A F E T Y PR AC T I C E S

7 Frequent Occasional

3.1

0.8 0.9 Swimming

Surfing

41%

2.5

3.1

2

1.3 0.5 0.6

0.5 Watercraft

Rock Fishing

0.9

0.9 0.2

Land-based Fishing

Boating

0.5

PWC

0.4 Snorkelling

0.1 0.3 Scuba Diving

Figure 16

2017: PARTICIPANTS (MILLIONS) IN COASTAL ACTIVITIES

49%

OCCASIONAL ROCK FISHERS CONSIDER THE ACTIVITY EXTREMELY OR VERY HAZARDOUS (VS 32% FREQUENT)

46% 43%

Frequent Occasional

37%

31%

22% 14% 10%

9%

8%

6% 2% Swimming

Surfing

7%

20% 16%

Watercraft

8% 2%

2% Rock Fishing

Land-based Fishing

Boating

PWC

Snorkelling

0% Scuba Diving

FIGURE 17

2017: PARTICIPANTS WHO HAVE EVER PERFORMED A RESCUE WHILE PARTICIPATING IN THESE ACTIVITIES

OCCASIONAL SNORKELLERS CONSIDER THE ACTIVITY EXTREMELY OR VERY HAZARDOUS (VS 40% FREQUENT)

88% Frequent Occasional

740,000 44% 26%

21%

3% Swimming

0% Surfing

19%

17%

15% 1% Watercraft

5% Rock Fishing

370,000

11%

10% 1%

2%

Land-based Boating Fishing

3% 0% PWC Snorkelling

6% Scuba Diving

NUMBER OF MALES AND FEMALES WHO HAVE EVER BEEN RESCUED WHILE PARTICIPATING IN COASTAL ACTIVITIES

FIGURE 18

2017: PARTICIPANTS WHO HAVE EVER BEEN RESCUED WHILE PARTICIPATING IN THESE ACTIVITIES

SECTION ONE

13

COMMUNIT Y


SWIMMING ABILITY C O N F I D E N C E I N C OA S TA L E N V I R O N M E N T S

1 IN 4

CANNOT SWIM OR FLOAT FOR MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES IN THE OCEAN

55%

55%

Cannot swim 50m without stopping

45% No/Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t say Yes

61% 39% OF COASTAL SWIMMERS CLAIM THEY CAN SWIM 50M IN AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS

FIGURE 19

2017: ABILITY TO SWIM 50M IN THE OCEAN WITHOUT STOPPING

OF COASTAL SWIMMERS CLAIM THEY CAN SWIM 50M IN THE OCEAN

35%

Swimming ability overall 32%

31%

Swimming ability in ocean 27%

22% 20%

10%

10% 6%

5% 1%

Unable to swim

Weak swimmer

Average swimmer

Competent swimmer

Highly competent swimmer

2% Can't say

FIGURE 20

2017: SWIMMING ABILITY OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC Australians rate themselves as less competent swimmers in the ocean than in other aquatic locations. While 37% of people say they are competent or highly competent swimmers in general, only 25% of people rate themselves similarly in the ocean.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

14

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


SAFET Y PR AC TICES S A F E T Y M E A S U R E S S W I M M E R S TA K E I N C OA S TA L E N V I R O N M E N T S

6%

3%

65% Patrolled

26%

71%

39% Patrolled beach during patrol hours only Patrolled beach, not always during patrolled hours

Beaches

TURN TO LIFEGUARDS/SURF LIFE SAVING AS THE COASTAL SAFETY AUTHORITY

Unpatrolled beach Coastal pools

26%

Can't say

FIGURE 21

2017: USUAL SWIMMING LOCATION

Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t say 2% 9%

2% 3% 17%

Never

Sometimes

1% 4%

3%

Always

Most of the time 1% 2%

2%

2% 3%

8%

8%

13%

3% 10%

24% 36%

21%

34%

4%

18% 20%

26% 29% 26%

34% 28% 26%

70% 58% 49%

63%

15% 38%

43%

29% 15% Only swim or wade at a patrolled beach during patrol times

Swim between the red and yellow flags when you are on a patrolled beach

Swim with at least one other person you know

Check surf conditions with a lifesaver, lifeguard or other authoritative source

Check for and obey safety signs posted on the beach

Look for the presence of rip currents in the area prior to entering the water

Figure 22

2017: SAFETY PRACTICES FOLLOWED BY SWIMMERS

SECTION ONE

15

COMMUNIT Y

Avoid swimming under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Follow the advice of a lifesaver or lifeguard when you are on a patrolled beach


RISK PERCEPTION H A Z A R D PE R C E P T I O N O F C OA S T A N D C OA S TA L AC T I V I T Y PA R T I C I PAT I O N

I

n all coastal activities, except rock fishing, frequent participants are more aware of the risks and hazards they are exposed to than occasional participants. More than a quarter of both frequent and occasional rock fishing participants believe the activity is hazardous, however less experienced participants rate the risk of the activity higher.

9%

2% 4% 13%

46%

26%

Occasional participants in activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, boating and watercraft are more likely to participate in organised activities, when on holiday for example, and are less risk averse. The 2017 National Coastal Safety Survey also shows that frequent participants on average engage 32% more in organised water sports (swimming club, nippers, water polo etc.) than occasional participants.

Somewhat Hazardous

Extremely Hazardous Very Hazardous Somewhat Hazardous Not Very Hazardous Not at All Hazardous Can't Say

46%

FIGURE 23

2017: AVERAGE HAZARD PERCEPTION OF THE COAST & BEACH ENVIRONMENTS

Frequent

Occasional 41%

31%

40% 33%

32%

26% 23%

22%

17%

15%

14% 11% 8%

7%

Wading

7%

7% 4%

3% Swimming

Land-based Fishing

Boating

Watercraft

Scuba Diving

Rock Fishing

Surfing

FIGURE 24

2017: FREQUENT AND OCCASIONAL PARTICIPANTS WHO BELIEVE THEIR COASTAL ACTIVITY IS EXTREMELY OR VERY HAZARDOUS

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

16

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017

Snorkelling


% ADULTS WHO BELIEVE COASTAL ACTIVITIES AND HAZARDS ARE EXTREMELY OR VERY HAZARDOUS Coastal Activities Coastal Hazards

7%

TOTAL FATALITIES BETWEEN 2014-17 AS A RESULT OF COASTAL ACTIVITIES AND HAZARDS

4 Land-based Fishing Swimming Boating Snorkelling Watercraft Surfing 15 Scuba Diving Waves Rock Fishing Marine Stinger Creatures 0 Crocodiles 2 Sharks 11 Tropical Marine Stinger Creatures 0 Rip Currents

11% 13% 14% 18% 24% 26% 35% 50% 54% 56% 58% 63% 74%

126 89 32 35 27 51 46

49

FIGURE 25

AVERAGE RISK PERCEPTION (2015-17) COMPARED TO TOTAL COASTAL DEATHS (2014-17) FOR THE SAME ACTIVITIES AND HAZARDS. Most coastal drowning deaths occur while swimming and boating, yet Australians rate these among the least dangerous activities. On the other end of the scale, marine stinger creatures, sharks and crocodiles are rated as extremely dangerous hazards, however these contribute to relatively low numbers of deaths.

43%

40%

1 in 5 AUSTRALIANS HAVE LIFEJACKETS AT HOME

20%

% WHO ALWAYS WEAR A LIFEJACKET

Boat-based fishing

Boating (powerboat)

Water skiing or wakeboarding

18%

PWC

FIGURE 26

42% 32% 13% BOATERS

WATERCRAFT USERS

2017: WHAT DO LIFEJACKETS GET COMMONLY USED FOR? Of the 18% of Australians who own a lifejacket, 43% use it for boat-based fishing, 40% for boating, 20% for water skiing or wakeboarding and 18% for PWC.

ROCK FISHERS

SECTION ONE

17

COMMUNIT Y


F E AT U R E : R I P C U R R E N T S

4.2

R

ip currents remain the number one hazard on the Australian coast and a key safety issue for beachgoers. The 2016-17 National Rip Current Campaign by SLSA aimed to increase the public’s awareness of rips and decrease over-confidence by swimmers, particularly 16-39 year old males. A post campaign analysis showed that confidence has decreased amongst 16-69 year old swimmers since 2016. Male confidence has remained higher than females and males are still over represented in the rip-current-related drowning statistics (88% in 2017). The behavioural change phase of the campaign will launch in 2018 and will again target the male demographic to help prevent avoidable rip current fatalities.

MILLION PEOPLE

(26%) HAVE EVER BEEN CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT UNINTENTIONALLY

27%

SAY THEY ARE SOMEWHAT OR VERY LIKELY TO RESCUE SOMEONE CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT

THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO CAN IDENTIFY A RIP HAS INCREASED 14% SINCE 2015, HOWEVER 6 IN 10 STILL CAN’T IDENTIFY A RIP CURRENT.

Information on rip currents, including the facts about rips, how to identify a rip and how to escape a rip, is available on www.beachsafe.org.au

32% 30% 25%

10% Both correct A correct B correct Both incorrect Very Confident

Somewhat Confident

Not Very Confident

Not At All Confident

FIGURE 28

2017: CONFIDENCE OF SWIMMERS TO IDENTIFY RIP CURRENTS VS CORRECT IDENTIFICATION Survey participants were asked how confident they are at identifying a rip current and were subsequently asked to identify a rip in two different photographs (N.B. 3% answered “can’t say” about their confidence and weren’t further tested). Ten per cent of survey respondents claimed that they were ‘very confident’ they could identify rips, however less than half (44%) were correct in both tests. Correct identification was approximately half for those who were ‘somewhat’ (49%) or ‘not very’ (40%) confident. Incorrect responses increased with decreasing confidence, and almost half (49%) of those that are ‘not at all confident’ weren’t able to identify rip currents.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

18

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


F E AT U R E : S H A R K S

S

Since 2004, 26 fatal and 239 non-fatal shark attacks have been recorded along the coast of Australia. For the 13-year period of 2004-17, most shark fatalities occurred when surfing (n=8), scuba diving (n=4), spear fishing (n=4) and swimming (n=4).

urf Life Saving Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Coastal Safety Survey revealed that coastal visitors rank sharks as the third greatest coastal hazard, with 58% believing they are extremely or very hazardous (Fig. 25). On the contrary, only 11% consider swimming at the coast to be equally hazardous.

SLSA has undertaken and is continuing research into the ecological and behavioural determinants of sharks, and their interactions with humans in the coastal environment. Further, SLSA has partnered with CSIRO, Taronga Zoo and Flinders University to review long-term shark data and contribute to the coastal safety initiatives that mitigate risk and exposure to beachgoers in Australia.

These results represent a significant disconnect between perception and risk, where the number of fatalities as a result of sharks is 2%, compared to 98% from drowning (Fig. 27). The total number of drowning deaths in the last 13 years is almost 4.5 times greater (n=1,281) than the total number of shark attacks (fatal and non-fatal combined, n=265). For last financial year, 2016-17, there were 116 coastal drowning deaths compared to one fatality from a shark attack during this period.

Drowning Deaths

Shark Fatalities 128 114

96

118

116 105

102

89

89

88

85

82 69

4 2004-05

2 2005-06

0

1

1

0

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2 2010-11

4

4

2011-12

2012-13

FIGURE 27

2004-16: TOTAL DROWNING DEATHS COMPARED TO TOTAL FATAL SHARK ATTACKS

SECTION ONE

19

4

1

COMMUNIT Y

2013-14

2014-15

3 2015-16

1 2016-17


C A PA B I LI T Y SECTION T WO

10,879 45,121 RESCUES PROFICIENT MEMBERS

1,345,362 VOLUNTEER PATROL HOURS

1,066

311

850

IRBs

Clubs

Helicopter Missions


C A PA B I LIT Y

S

urf Life Saving (SLS) has significant capability to provide coastal surveillance patrols and aquatic search and rescue (SAR) operations, working in close partnership with police and other emergency services. These services are expertly delivered and managed by the 45,121 proficient surf lifesavers (Bronze Medallion and Surf Rescue Certificate holders) through the 311 Surf Life Saving Clubs. This is alongside 700 fulltime, seasonal and casual lifeguards. Surf lifesavers and lifeguards receive specialised training to industry best-practice standards under the Australian Qualifications Framework ensuring the community receives consistent service of the highest quality across the nation. Radio communications provide support to all services via SLS coastal radio networks or government radio networks, which are connected to SLS communication and operation centres. These centres provide operational support, data management and when required coordinate the SLS emergency response system. VOLUNTEER SURF LIFESAVERS Our volunteer surf lifesavers are provided with fit-for-purpose equipment designed to operate in hazardous and challenging conditions that SLS services encounter. Surf lifesavers utilise thousands of rescue boards and rescue tubes mostly around the red and yellow flagged patrol areas. They are supported by 1,066 inflatable rescue boats, allowing surf lifesavers to quickly navigate the surf zone and inshore environment. Roving surveillance patrols that actively monitor stretches of coastline near a primary patrolled areas are vital to the SLS drowning prevention strategy. Surf lifesavers undertake these patrols using 521 side-by-side (SSV) and 4WD vehicles. SLS lifesaving services extend beyond the red and yellow flags to provide surveillance and emergency response in isolated and hazardous coastal areas. Agile craft such as 171 rescue water craft (RWC) and six jet rescue boats (JRBs) allow surf lifesavers to access white-water areas such as coastal bars and rocky coastlines. A fleet of 23 offshore rescue boats (ORBs) and nine rigid-hull inflatable boats (RIBs) further extend the SLS response capability providing longer range surveillance and blue-water rescue and SAR operations.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

AUSTRALIAN LIFEGUARD SERVICE The Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) is a national lifeguard provider of beach and pool lifeguard services to 66 local government councils and land managers across Australia. It is the largest supplier of professional lifeguards in Australia.

SURF LIFESAVERS AND LIFEGUARDS RECEIVE SPECIALISED TRAINING ENSURING THE COMMUNITY RECEIVES CONSISTENT SERVICE OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY ACROSS THE NATION ALS operations are fully integrated into the 24-hour surf emergency response system and work with SLSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volunteer lifesaving services including the strategically located Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Services. ALS patrols provide a range of services, from single-day patrols on periods of peak attendance (i.e. public holidays) to 365-day services for local governments. They are a crucial component in offering a seamless service to the community during peak periods. Several local councils around Australia operate internal lifeguard services. Statistics for those services have not been included in this report. WESTPAC LIFESAVER RESCUE HELICOPTERS For rapid, isolated or complex rescues, 11 Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopters provide aerial support to surf lifesavers and further extend our surveillance and SAR capability. These important assets also support police and other emergency services in a range of emergency and disaster situations.

22

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


Figure 29

2016â&#x20AC;&#x201C;17: AUSTRALIAN LIFEGUARD SERVICE The Australian Lifeguard Service provides 232 lifeguard services around Australia in 66 local government areas: 90 in New South Wales, 80 in Queensland, 37 in Victoria, 17 in Western Australia, 2 in South Australia, 1 in Tasmania and 5 in Northern Territory.

Darwin

5 80 17 2

Brisbane

90

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

37 0

Canberra

Melbourne

1,000km

SCALE

1

Hobart

SECTION T WO

23

CAPABILIT Y


C A PA B I LIT Y

Figure 30

2016â&#x20AC;&#x201C;17: SURF LIFE SAVING CLUBS There are 311 clubs around Australia: 129 in New South Wales, 58 in Queensland, 57 in Victoria, 29 in Western Australia, 21 in South Australia, 14 in Tasmania and 3 in Northern Territory.

Darwin

3 58 29 21

Brisbane

129

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

57 0

1,000km

Canberra

Melbourne

SCALE

14

Hobart

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

24

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


M E M B E R S H I P C A PAC IT Y

20,067

Surf Rescue Certificate Bronze Medallion

Female Male

19,376

9,413

8,708 6,906 5,989

5,263

4,474 2,606

2,566 764 NSW

QLD

VIC

WA

SA

TAS

784

142 NT

NSW

QLD

VIC

WA

SA

TAS

130 NT

Figure 31

Figure 32

2016–17: PROFICIENT LIFESAVERS

2016–17: PATROLLING LIFESAVERS

There was a total of 39,589 proficient Bronze Medallion holders and 5,532 Surf Rescue Certificate holders.

There were a total of 42,067 members who performed a patrol.

1,345,362

63%

VOLUNTEER PATROL HOURS

13,820

MALE

ADVANCED RESUSCITATION

37%

TECHNIQUES CERTIFICATE

FEMALE

12,040 APPLY FIRST AID CERTIFICATE 5%

12%

13,893

36%

IRB CREW 13%

6,968

1%

36%

Board

IRB DRIVERS 15% 18%

Figure 33

2016–17: EQUIPMENT USE IN RESCUES

SECTION T WO

25

CAPABILIT Y

Board Rescue Tube No Gear RWC IRB Other JRB/ORB/RIB


C A PA B I LIT Y

Figure 34

2016â&#x20AC;&#x201C;17: SLS MAJOR ASSET LOCATION AND SERVICE RANGE SLS maintains a fleet of 171 rescue water craft (RWC), as well as 6 jet rescue boats (JRB), 9 rigid-hull inflatable boats (RIB), 23 offshore rescue boats and 11 rescue helicopters. Their locations and service ranges are depicted on this map.

Darwin

Rescue Watercraft (RWC) Jet Rescue Boat (JRB) Rigid-hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) Offshore Rescue Boat (ORB) Rescue Helicopter

Brisbane

Perth

Adelaide

Sydney Canberra

0

1,000km

Melbourne

SCALE

Hobart

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

26

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


RESCUES

Figure 35

2016â&#x20AC;&#x201C;17: RESCUES PER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA (LGA) SLS lifesavers, lifeguards and lifesaving services performed 10,879 rescues across 111 LGAs around Australia.

Key to Rescues per LGA 1 - 9 Rescues

Darwin

10 - 49 Rescues 50 - 149 Rescues 150 - 449 Rescues > 450 Rescues

193 2,561 1,176 178

Brisbane

6,107

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

507 0

Canberra

Melbourne

1,000km

SCALE

157

Hobart

SECTION T WO

27

CAPABILIT Y


P R E V E N TAT I V E A C T I O N S

Figure 36

2016â&#x20AC;&#x201C;17: PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS PER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA (LGA) SLS lifesavers, lifeguards and lifesaving services performed 3,951,428 preventative actions across 111 LGAs around Australia.

Key to Preventative Actions per LGA 1 - 999 Actions

Darwin

1,000 - 4,999 Actions 5,000 - 19,999 Actions 20,000 - 199,999 Actions > 200,000 Actions

6,833 3,359,221

42,584

Brisbane

13,581 417,392

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

Canberra

0

Melbourne

1,000km

110,696

SCALE

Hobart

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

28

1,121

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


FIRST AID

Figure 37

2016â&#x20AC;&#x201C;17: FIRST AID PER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA (LGA) SLS lifesavers, lifeguards and lifesaving services performed 108,044 first aid treatments across 111 LGAs around Australia.

Key to First Aid Incidents per LGA 1 - 49 Incidents

Darwin

50 - 199 Incidents 200 - 699 Incidents 700 - 4,999 Incidents > 5,000 Incidents

610 74,370

3,294

Brisbane

1,047 26,958

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

Canberra

0

1,676 Melbourne

1,000km

SCALE

89

Hobart

SECTION T WO

29

CAPABILIT Y


F E AT U R E : B L A C K S P O T S

48%

48%

1

Drowning deaths in Blackspots

3

5

52%

1

Blackspot Locations Other Coastal Locations

11 Figure 39

2 Figure 38

2016-17: NUMBER OF LGAs WITH FUNDED BLACKSPOT PROJECTS

1

B

lackspots are locations around Australia’s coast where drowning is a prevalent issue. The Australian Government supports SLS in reducing coastal drowning deaths by funding risk assessments and initiatives in these priority areas that help to promote water safety. Blackspot LGAs cover 1% of Australia’s land area but represent 18% of the Australian population (ABS 2016). In addition, there are approximately 100 million visitors (Newspoll 2009) to Australia’s beaches every year. It is therefore necessary to tailor projects to each community and help key demographics, and the broader community, to stay safe and enjoy the coastal environment.

2016–17: DROWNING DEATHS IN BLACKSPOTS Almost half (48%) of all coastal and ocean drowning deaths in 2016-17 occurred in Blackspot locations. The percentage of drowning deaths in Blackspots has consistently dropped from a high of 64% in 2011-12.

Current and past initiatives include community education safety programs, signage and technology developments, advances to search and rescue systems, improvements to patrol capabilities and research projects. The funding of these programs began in 2008 and during the past six years the proportion of coastal drowning deaths in coastal Blackspots has steadily been decreasing (Fig. 42). By addressing these drowning hotspots Surf Life Saving is also achieving its strategic goal of saving lives, reducing drowning incidents and providing a safe and enjoyable aquatic environment.

Number of projects Community Education Programs

7

Signage

1

Technology

1

Search and Rescue

1

Coastal Risk Assessment

1

Lifesaving Services

1

Research

1

Total

13

DROWNING RATES IN BLACKSPOTS ARE

5x

HIGHER THAN THE AUSTRALIAN AVERAGE

Figure 40

2016–17: TYPES OF PROJECTS FUNDED IN BLACKSPOTS

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

30

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


NSW Signage

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

SLSA

Total –1

Research

Total – 2

Search & Rescue

Total – 3

Technology

Total – 3

Lifesaving Services

Total – 5

Coastal Risk Assessment

Total – 6

Community Education Programs 0

Total – 16 3

6

9

12

15

Figure 41

2014–17: PROJECT CATEGORIES FUNDED BY STATE Between 2014 and 2017 there were 36 Blackspot projects funded around Australia.

2005-11 Blackspot Drowning Deaths 80% 70%

Drowning Deaths (%)

2012-17 Blackspot Drowning Deaths

2008-09: START OF BLACKSPOT PROGRAM

60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Figure 42

2005–17: PERCENTAGE OF DROWNING DEATHS IN BLACKSPOTS Between 2005 and 2011 the percentage of coastal drowning deaths in blackspot locations increased from 48% to 64% of total coastal drowning deaths. From the start of the Blackspot program in 2008-09, the percentage increased for another three years. However, in 2011-12 the impacts of programs could be seen, and the tide changed with coastal drowning deaths in blackspot locations steadily dropping to 48% of total coastal drowning deaths in 2016-17.

SECTION T WO

31

CAPABILIT Y


D R O W N I N G A N A LY S I S SECTION THREE

116 DROWNING DEATHS COASTAL & OCEAN

83% 17% MALE

FEMALE

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS 2004-17

Rip Currents

20%

Medical Condition or Injury

Alcohol/Drugs

22%

19%


SECTION HEADING S E C T I O N 01


N AT I O N A L O V E R V I E W 2 0 0 4 -17: 13 -Y E A R R E V I E W

Cause of Death listed

120

Number (n)

96

102

89 89

0.5

128

118

114 90

0.6

105

88

85

0.4 116

82

60

0.3

69

30

0.2

0

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

No Cause of Death listed

150

0.1 2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Figure 43

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

0.44

2004–17: 13-YEAR TREND OF NATIONAL COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS National coastal drowning death numbers and crude drowning rates for 2004–17 are illustrated above. The 2016-17 rate per 100,000 population is 0.48, a little above the 13-year average rate of 0.44.

2015-16

2016-17

99

13-YEAR AVERAGE RATE PER 100,000 POPULATION

13-YEAR AVERAGE DROWNING DEATHS

Swimming/Wading

Boating

Rock Fishing

Watercraft

Attempting a Rescue

Scuba Diving

Snorkelling

Rock/Cliff

Other

Unknown

2006-07

2008-09

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.20

0.16

0.12

0.08

0.04

0.00 2004-05

2005-06

2007-08

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Figure 44

2004–17: 13-YEAR COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY The national rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur varies over time. The 2016-17 rate for boating, watercraft, scuba diving and snorkelling is above the 13-year average, while the 2016-17 rate for swimming/wading, rock fishing and attempting a rescue is below the 13-year average. ‘Other’ activities include hang gliding, jumping into water and unintentional falls.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

34

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


86% 14%

28

MALE

0.93

211

195

0.36

0.63

FEMALE

100 0.47

490 0.52

194

25-34 YEARS OF AGE

63

0.27

&

50-64 YEARS OF AGE

0.96

Figure 45

Figure 46

2004–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS AND RATES (PER 100,000 POPULATION) BY STATE

2004–17: KEY DEMOGRAPHICS IN AUSTRALIAN DROWNING STATISTICS

Of the 1,281 coastal drowning deaths, 38% occurred in NSW, 16% in Qld, 15% in both Vic and WA, 8% in SA, 5% in Tas and 2% in NT.

The 25-34 year old age group represents 19% of all drowning deaths. The 50-64 year old age group accounts for 24% of all drowning deaths.

18%

10%

16%

9%

14%

8%

12%

7%

10%

6%

8%

5% 4%

6%

3%

4%

June

May

April

March

February

January

December

November

October

September

August

0%

July

1%

0

12-1 am 1-2am 2-3am 3-4am 4-5am 5-6am 6-7am 7-8am 8-9am 9-10am 10-11am 11-12pm 12-1pm 1-2pm 2-3pm 3-4pm 4-5pm 5-6pm 6-7pm 7-8pm 8-9pm 9-10pm 10-11pm 11-12am

2%

2%

Figure 47

Figure 48

2004–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY MONTH

2004–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY TIME

The highest percentage of coastal drowning deaths occurred in the month of January (n=213), followed by March (n=142) and December (n=138). Sixty-three percent occurred outside of the summer months. Shading denotes season.

Incident time is currently known for 83% of all coastal drowning deaths (n=1,059). The highest density of fatalities occurred between 1pm and 5pm (n=409).

SECTION THREE

35

DROWNING ANALYSIS


N AT I O N A L O V E R V I E W 2 0 0 4 -17: 13 -Y E A R R E V I E W

Key to Coastal Drowning Deaths per LGA 1- 4 Drowning Deaths Darwin

5-9 Drowning Deaths 10-16 Drowning Deaths 17-30 Drowning Deaths > 31 Drowning Deaths

28 211 195 100

Brisbane

490

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

194 0

1,000km

Canberra

Melbourne

SCALE

63

Hobart

Figure 49

2004â&#x20AC;&#x201C;17: DROWNING DEATHS PER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA (LGA) During 2004 to 2017, there were 1,281 drowning deaths in 153 LGAs throughout Australia.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

36

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


N AT I O N A L O V E R V I E W 2 016 -17: 1-Y E A R R E V I E W

T

116

he National Coastal Safety Report has traditionally focused on coastal drowning deaths. However, other aquatic related deaths frequently occur which impacts on the greater community, families and surf lifesavers. Accordingly, research into other coastal deaths including medical, marine wildlife and other incidents which had led to fatalities on the Australian coastline has commenced. This research will help inform SLS and the community on potential safety and welfare matters and assist with innovations and development of programs and services to address them.

36

DROWNING DEATHS

106

10

COASTAL

During the 2016-17 period a total of 116 coastal drowning deaths were recorded. Additionally, SLSA has recorded 36 coastal aquatic deaths, increasing the total number of coastal aquatic deaths to 152. The loss of any life is tragic and while drowning related deaths remain a key focus, understanding the magnitude and impact of other coastal deaths is vitally important.

OTHER AQUATIC FATALITIES

OCEAN

7%

23%

70%

Coastal Drowning Deaths

The challenge for SLSA is to support its members who are involved in responding to a diversity of incidents, as well as providing key preventative strategies for the community. With 23 per cent of all coastal deaths involving factors other than drowning, it is crucial to determine causal factors and when, where and why they occur. The objective is clear; reduce the loss of life in the coastal environment. How? By understanding what has happened and implement initiatives and campaigns that address these matters.

70% Coastal Drowning Aquatic Fatality Ocean Drowning

Figure 50

2016-17: OVERVIEW OF DROWNING DEATHS AND FATALITIES PER CATEGORY

50

Coastal Drowning Aquatic Fatality Ocean Drowning

45 40

Number (n)

35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 NSW

QLD

VIC

WA

SA

Figure 51

2016â&#x20AC;&#x201C;17: OVERVIEW OF DROWNING DEATHS AND AQUATIC FATALITIES PER STATE

SECTION THREE

37

DROWNING ANALYSIS

TAS

NT


N AT I O N A L O V E R V I E W 2 016 -17: 1-Y E A R R E V I E W

Female

14

Male

0.06

12

Number (n)

10

0.04

8 0.03 6 0.02 4

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.05

0.01

2 0

0-4

5-9

10-14 15-19

20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39

40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-69 70-74

75-79 80-84

85+

0.00

Figure 52

2016-17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY AGE AND GENDER (n=116) The age groups representing the highest rate of fatalities are 50-54 and 55-59 years (0.05 rate per 100,000 pop.). Only in the 70-74 age category did female drowning deaths outnumber male drowning deaths. Overall, 83% (n=96) fatalities were male.

1%1%

3%

3% 4%

3%

3%

9%

5%

8%

9%

3%

28%

28% Swimming/ Wading 23% 14%

Swimming/Wading Boating & PWC Snorkelling Watercraft Rock Fishing Scuba Diving Rock/Cliff Attempting a Rescue Other Unknown

15%

43% Beach

43%

26%

Beach Offshore Rock/Cliff Bay Jetty Marina Coastal Creek Coastal Pool/Bath

Figure 53

Figure 54

2016-17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITIES (n=116)

2016-17: LOCATION OF COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS (n=116)

The majority of coastal drowning deaths occurred when an individual was participating in swimming or wading (n=32), boating (n=27), snorkelling (n=16), using non-powered watercraft (n=10) or rock fishing (n=9).

The majority of coastal drowning deaths occurred at a beach (n=50), offshore (n=30) or at rock/cliff locations (n=17). Beach and rock/cliff locations show a decrease (beach: 48% in 2015-16 and 56% in 2014-15; rock/cliff: 19% in 2015-16 and 22% in 2014-15). Offshore percentage remains at 26% since 2015-16 after increasing from 16% in 2014-15.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

38

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


1.8

35

1.6

32

1.4

Number (n)

25

26

1.2

22

20

1.0 4 0.8

15

15 0.6

10

10

0

0.4

8

5

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

30

0.2

3 NSW

QLD

VIC

WA

SA

TAS

NT

0.0

Figure 55

2016–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS PER STATE (n=116) Of the 116 coastal drowning deaths, 28% occurred in NSW, 19% in Qld, 13% in Vic, 22% in WA, 9% in SA, 7% in Tas and 3% in NT. In NSW and Vic the rate per 100,000 population is lower than the 13-year average, while in the other states the rate per 100,000 population is higher than the 13-year average.

10%

9% 9% 26%

26%

29%

40%

Less than 1km

26%

29%

26%

Less than 10km

> 5km 1-5km <1km Ocean

26%

<10km 10-50km >50km International Unknown

Figure 56

Figure 57

2016–17: DISTANCE FROM DROWNING LOCATION TO A LIFESAVING SERVICE (n=116)

2016–17: DISTANCE FROM RESIDENCE TO DROWNING LOCATION (n=116)

Thirty individuals (26%) drowned within 1km of the nearest lifesaving service. Of these, 47% (n=16) occurred during patrolled seasons and/or times.

Thirty-four individuals lived less than 10km from the drowning location.

SECTION THREE

39

DROWNING ANALYSIS


3 2 2 2 3

DARWIN

D R O W N I N G L O C AT I O N S

2

2 0 0 4 –17

2

2 2

2 2

2 5

195

169 169

2

4

2 2 2 2

2

2 3 2 5

4 4

2 3

Figure 58

2004–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY

2 2 3

2

PERTH 3

3

2 2 2 4 2 2

2

2

2 2 2

5

KEY TO DROWNING ACTIVITY 3

Attempting a Rescue Boating Scuba Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Snorkelling Swimming/Wading Watercraft Other Unknown Multiple instances per activity at the same location

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

0

1,000km

SCALE

40

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


2

2 7 2

2 3

2 2

28

4 2

211

2

3 2 2 2

3 2

2 5 2 8

2

5 2 2 2 8

2 2

4 3 3 4 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 3 2 2 8 2 2 2 2 2 3 6

4

2 2

2 3

2

2

2 2

2

2 8 2 4 2

ADELAIDE

3

194

2 3 2 2

2

3

2 4 2 2 5

2

3 2

2

2

5

2 2

2 2 9 3 2 5 3 4 3 2 2 4 3

2

2

4 4 11 4 2 2 2 4

CANBERRA

MELBOURNE

2 5

11 2 3 3 2 5 5 7 2 2 13 10 6 8 3 3 2 21 9 4 4 2 4 9 9 4 3

SYDNEY

7 2

3

2

5

3 3

2 2

2

2 3 2 2 4 3 3 4 3 2

2 4 2 3 3

8 4 3 4 2

2

63

2

HOBART 9 2 2

3 2 3 3

3 2 2 2

2

3

1

2 5

490

2

7 3 3

BRISBANE

100

3 3

7 17 4 2 9 2 4 4

2


NEW SOUTH WALE S

0.8

60

0.7 50

0.6

Number (n)

48

45

30 35

39

35

40

0.4

37

32

29

29

20

0.5

46

23

0.3 0.2

10

0.1

0

4% 33%

Swimming/ Wading

8%

10%

2016-17

2015-16

2014-15

2013-14

2011-12

2012-13

2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

2007-08

2006-07

2005-06

33%

5%

0.0 2004-05

9%

4% Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

52 40

3% 3%

21%

Swimming/Wading Rock Fishing Boating Watercraft Attempting a Rescue Snorkelling Rock/Cliff Scuba Diving Other Unknown

Figure 59

Figure 60

2004–17: 13-YEAR TREND OF NSW COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2004–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=490)

In 2016–17, drowning deaths in New South Wales (NSW) were below the 13-year average of 38 after a record high of 52 in the previous year.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in NSW occurred when swimming/wading (n=164), rock fishing (n=103), boating (n=48) and using watercraft (n=39).

Swimming

Attempting a Rescue

2004-17

2016-17

0.18

0.15

2004-17

2016-17

0.03

0.01

Scuba Diving

Boating 2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.05

0.01

0.02

0.01

Watercraft

Snorkelling

2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.04

0.03

0.02

0.04

Rock Fishing

Rock/Cliff

2004-17

2016-17

0.11

0.10

2004-17

2016-17

0.02

0.05

Figure 61

13-YEAR AVERAGE VS 2016-17 COASTAL DROWNING RATES BY ACTIVITY Drowning death rates (per 100,000 population) were lower than the 13-year average in most activities in 2016-17. Exceptions are snorkelling and rock/cliff related incidents.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

42

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


DNRAT OW I ONNI A N LG OSVNEARPVSIHE O WT

2004–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS 2 5 2

4

2 2 5 2 2 2 8

2 3 2 2

4 3 3 4 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 3 2 2 8 2 2 2 2 2 3 6

2016–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

4 2 9 2 4 4

4 4 11 4 2 2 2 4

CANBERRA 2

3 2 2 2

8 4 3

5

3 3 4 2 2 2

2

AVERAGE NUMBER

PER 100,000 POPULATION

DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY

11 2 3 3 2 5 5 7 2 2 13 10 6 8 3 3 2 21 9 4 4 2 4 9 9 4 3

SYDNEY

3%

Attempting a Rescue Boating Scuba Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Snorkelling Swimming/Wading Watercraft Other Unknown Multiple instances per activity at the same location

3% 3%

6% 9%

38%

13%

38%

Swimming/ Wading 25%

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

0.52

38

0.41

32

2

2

2

FATALITY RATE

Swimming/Wading Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Snorkelling Watercraft Boating Attempting a Rescue Scuba Diving

DROWNING DEATHS BY LOCATION

PER 100,000 POPULATION

3% 3% 6%

90% 10% MALE

41%

47% Beach

FEMALE

47%

Beach Rock/Cliff Bay Offshore Coastal/Pool/Bath

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

20-29

YEAR OLD SWIMMERS/ WADERS

&

45-54

47%

YEAR OLD ROCK FISHERS

SECTION SECTION ONE

43

SECTION NAME COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y

LESS THAN 1KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB


QUEENSLAND

1%1% 2%

0.6

30

0.5

25 24 18

17

15 10

16

0.4

19

17

0.3 13

12

11

13

0.2

9

2016-17

2015-16

2013-14

2014-15

2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

2007-08

0.0

2008-09

0

2006-07

0.1

2005-06

5 2004-05

Number (n)

20

5%

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

22

20

7%

3%

35%

10%

34%

Swimming/ Wading

14%

23%

Swimming/Wading Boating Snorkelling Watercraft Scuba Diving Attempting a Rescue Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Other Unknown

Figure 62

Figure 63

2004–17: 13-YEAR TREND OF QLD COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2004–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=211)

In 2016–17, 12 coastal and 10 ocean drowning deaths were recorded in Queensland (Qld). From 2004 to 2017, there has been an average of 17 coastal drowning deaths per year, which is an average rate of 0.37 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in Qld occurred when swimming/wading (n=71), boating (n=48), snorkelling (n=30) and using watercraft (n=21).

Swimming

Attempting a Rescue

2004-17

2016-17

0.12

0.06

2004-17

2016-17

0.01

0.00

Scuba Diving

Boating 2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.08

0.12

0.02

0.04

Watercraft

Snorkelling

2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.04

0.04

0.05

0.18

Rock Fishing

Rock/Cliff

2004-17

2016-17

0.01

0.00

2004-17

2016-17

0.00

0.00

Figure 64

13-YEAR AVERAGE VS 2016-17 COASTAL DROWNING RATES BY ACTIVITY Drowning death rates (per 100,000 population) were lower than the 13-year average in most activities in 2016-17. Exceptions are boating, scuba diving and snorkelling incidents.

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DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2016-17 COASTAL & OCEAN DROWNING DEATHS

2004-17 COASTAL & OCEAN DROWNING DEATHS

2

2 2

SNORKELLING

22

7 2

2

41%

COASTAL AND OCEAN DROWNING DEATHS

Attempting a Rescue Boating Scuba Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Snorkelling Swimming/Wading Watercraft Other Unknown Multiple instances per activity at the same location

85% 15%

3

MALE

2 2 4 2

FEMALE

DROWNING DEATHS BY LOCATION

2

3 2

5%

7 3 3

2 2 1

3 7 17 2

27%

AVERAGE NUMBER

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

0.36

16

5%

3 2

BRISBANE 2 5 2 8

2

3 3

64% Offshore

64%

PER 100,000 POPULATION

Offshore Beach Jetty Marina

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

25-34

YEAR OLD SWIMMERS/ WADERS

&

60-64 YEAR OLD BOATERS

82%

GREATER THAN 5KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB


VICTORIA

25 0.4

14%

22

23 Number (n)

15 14

17

15

10

11

15 11

15 0.2

12 10

0.3

19

10 0.1

5

2016-17

2015-16

2014-15

2013-14

2011-12

2012-13

2010-11

2009-10

2007-08

2008-09

2006-07

2005-06

2004-05

0

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

20 5%

31%

2%

31%

3% 5%

Swimming/ Wading

6%

0.0

Swimming/Wading Boating Watercraft Scuba Diving Rock Fishing Attempting a Rescue Snorkelling Rock/Cliff Other Unknown

7%

21% 8%

Figure 65

Figure 66

2004–17: 13-YEAR TREND OF VIC COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2004–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=194)

In 2016–17, the number of drowning deaths in Victoria (Vic) was the same as the 13-year average of 15.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in Vic occurred when swimming/wading (n=60), boating (n=41) and using watercraft (n=16).

Swimming

Attempting a Rescue

2004-17

2016-17

0.08

0.10

2004-17

2016-17

0.01

0.00

Scuba Diving

Boating 2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.06

0.00

0.02

0.02

Watercraft

Snorkelling

2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.02

0.06

0.01

0.00

Rock Fishing

Rock/Cliff

2004-17

2016-17

0.02

0.00

2004-17

2016-17

0.00

0.00

Figure 67

13-YEAR AVERAGE VS 2016-17 COASTAL DROWNING RATES BY ACTIVITY Drowning death rates (per 100,000 population) were lower than or equal to the 13-year average in most activities in 2016-17. Exceptions are swimming/wading and watercraft incidents.

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DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2016–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

MELBOURNE

3 2

2

5

2 2

3 2 2

2 4 2 3 3

PER 100,000 POPULATION

DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY

2 2

2

2 2

0.24

15

2 2 9 3 2 5 3 4 3 2 2 4 3

2 4 2 2 5

FATALITY RATE

4 3 3 4 3 2

Attempting a Rescue Boating Scuba Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Snorkelling Swimming/Wading Watercraft Other AVERAGE Unknown 2 Multiple instances NUMBER per activity at the same location

2

Attempting a Rescue Boating Scuba Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Snorkelling Swimming/Wading Watercraft Other Unknown Multiple instances per activity at the same location

13%

13%

40%

Swimming/ Wading

7%

0.27

PER 100,000 POPULATION

Swimming/Wading Watercraft Scuba Diving Other Unknown

27%

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

15

40%

DROWNING DEATHS BY LOCATION 7% 7%

84% 16%

7%

MALE

20%

60% Beach

FEMALE

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

30-39 YEAR OLD BOATERS

&

60-64 YEAR OLD BOATERS

47%

60%

Beach Bay Rock/Cliff Offshore Jetty

LESS THAN 1KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB


WESTERN AUSTR ALIA

1.2

30 25

16

15

20

17

0.6

15 12

10

11

8

15

11

10

0.4

10

0.2

5 0

26%

5%

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.8

24

5% 2%

5%

26

20

Number (n)

2%

1.0

26%

10%

Swimming/ Wading

10%

2016-17

2015-16

2014-15

2012-13

2013-14

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

2007-08

2008-09

2006-07

2005-06

2004-05

0.0

Swimming/Wading Boating Rock Fishing Snorkelling Watercraft Rock/Cliff Scuba Diving Attempting a Rescue Other Unknown

19%

16%

Figure 68

Figure 69

2004–17: 13-YEAR TREND OF WA COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2004–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=195)

In 2016–17, coastal drowning deaths in Western Australia (WA) reached a record high (n=26, rate of 1.01 per 100,000 pop.) since 2004. From 2004 to 2017, there has been an average of 15 coastal drowning deaths per year, which is an average rate of 0.62 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in WA occurred when swimming/wading (n=51), boating (n=38), rock fishing (n=32) and snorkelling (n=20).

Swimming

Attempting a Rescue

2004-17

2016-17

0.17

0.31

2004-17

2016-17

0.01

0.04

Scuba Diving

Boating 2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.12

0.31

0.03

0.04

Watercraft

Snorkelling

2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.05

0.11

0.06

0.17

Rock Fishing

Rock/Cliff

2004-17

2016-17

0.11

0.04

2004-17

2016-17

0.04

0.00

Figure 70

13-YEAR AVERAGE VS 2016-17 COASTAL DROWNING RATES BY ACTIVITY Drowning death rates (per 100,000 population) were higher than the 13-year average in most activities in 2016-17. Exceptions are rock fishing and rock/cliff related incidents.

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DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

31%

COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

Attempting a Rescue Boating Scuba Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Snorkelling Swimming/Wading Watercraft Other Unknown Multiple instances per activity at the same location

2

2016–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

26

SWIMMING

85% 15%

2 2

MALE 2 2

2 5

FEMALE 2

4

2

DROWNING DEATHS BY LOCATION

2 2 2

2

2

4%

3 2 5

4 4

2 3

2 2 3

2

4%

8%

PERTH 3

2 2 2 4 2

3

2

2

2 2 2

50%

2 5

3

35%

Beach

50%

Beach Offshore Rock/Cliff Coastal Creek Jetty

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

25-34

YEAR OLD SWIMMERS/ WADERS

&

65-69 YEAR OLD BOATERS

54%

GREATER THAN 5KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB


SOUTH AUSTR ALIA

14

0.9 12

10

Number (n)

8

13 9

10 8

3% 3%

0.4

7

7

0.3

6

4

0.2

3

2

0.1

2 2016-17

2015-16

2014-15

2012-13

2013-14

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

2007-08

2006-07

0 2005-06

0.7 10 0.5

6

2004-05

1%

0.6

9

4

0.8

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

12

6% 5%

4%

35%

4% 6%

35%

Swimming/ Wading

0.0 33%

Swimming/Wading Boating Rock/Cliff Watercraft Scuba Diving Attempting a Rescue Snorkelling Rock Fishing Other Unknown

Figure 71

Figure 72

2004–17: 13-YEAR TREND OF SA COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2004–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=100)

In 2016–17, the number of drowning deaths in South Australia (SA) for this year was above the 2004-17 annual average of 8, which is an average rate of 0.47 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in SA occurred when swimming/wading (n=35) and boating (n=33).

Swimming

Attempting a Rescue

2004-17

2016-17

0.16

0.12

2004-17

2016-17

0.01

0.06

Scuba Diving

Boating 2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.15

0.29

0.02

0.00

Watercraft

Snorkelling

2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.02

0.00

0.01

0.06

Rock Fishing

Rock/Cliff

2004-17

2016-17

0.00

0.00

2004-17

2016-17

0.03

0.00

Figure 73

13-YEAR AVERAGE VS 2016-17 COASTAL DROWNING RATES BY ACTIVITY Drowning death rates (per 100,000 population) were lower than the 13-year average in most activities in 2016-17. Exceptions are boating, attempting a rescue and snorkelling related incidents.

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DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2016–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

10

2 2

2

2

FATALITY RATE

0.58

PER 100,000 POPULATION

DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY

8 2 4 2

2

ADELAIDE

3

Attempting a Rescue Boating Scuba Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Snorkelling Swimming/Wading Watercraft Other Unknown Multiple instances per activity at the same location

7 2

3

10%

2 3

10%

2 2 2

2 5

3

50%

10%

2

50%

Boating

2

Boating Swimming/Wading Attempting a Rescue Snorkelling Unknown

20%

AVERAGE NUMBER

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

0.47

8

PER 100,000 POPULATION

83% 17% MALE

DROWNING DEATHS BY LOCATION

50%

50% Beach

Beach Offshore

FEMALE

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

25-29 YEAR OLD BOATERS

&

45-54 YEAR OLD BOATERS

50%

50%

GREATER THAN 5KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB


TA S M A N I A

9

1.8

8

1.6 8

8

8

5

5

5

5

3

4

4

0.6

4

0.4

2016-17

0.2 2015-16

2013-14

2014-15

2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

2005-06

2004-05

2 2007-08

2

1 0

0.8

3

2

2006-07

Number (n)

1.0

5 4

1.4 1.2

6

3% 2% 3%

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

7

8% 3%

43%

8%

6%

0.0

43%

Boating 11% 13%

Boating Swimming/Wading Rock Fishing Watercraft Scuba Diving Attempting a Rescue Snorkelling Rock/Cliff Other Unknown

Figure 74

Figure 75

2004–17: 13-YEAR TREND OF TAS COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2004–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=63)

In 2016–17, there were 8 drowning deaths in Tasmania (Tas). This is above the 13-year annual average of 5. It is important to note that due to low overall numbers, one multi-fatality incident can significantly influence yearly statistics.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in Tas occurred when boating (n=27), swimming/wading (n=8), rock fishing (n=7) and scuba diving (n=5).

Swimming

Attempting a Rescue

2004-17

2016-17

0.12

0.00

2004-17

2016-17

0.03

0.00

Scuba Diving

Boating 2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.41

1.16

0.08

0.19

Watercraft

Snorkelling

2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.06

0.19

0.02

0.00

Rock Fishing

Rock/Cliff

2004-17

2016-17

0.11

0.00

2004-17

2016-17

0.03

0.00

Figure 76

13-YEAR AVERAGE VS 2016-17 COASTAL DROWNING RATES BY ACTIVITY Drowning death rates (per 100,000 population) were lower than the 13-year average in most activities in 2016-17. Exceptions are boating, watercraft and scuba diving related incidents.

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DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2

HOBART 9 2 2

2

3 2 3 3

Attempting a Rescue Boating Scuba Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Snorkelling Swimming/Wading Watercraft Other Unknown Multiple instances per activity at the same location

2016–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

FATALITY RATE

1.54

8

PER 100,000 POPULATION

DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY 13%

13%

AVERAGE NUMBER

5

75%

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

0.96

Boating

75%

PER 100,000 POPULATION Boating Watercraft Scuba Diving

83% 17%

DROWNING DEATHS BY LOCATION

MALE

FEMALE

13%

13%

75% Bay

75%

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

40-49 55-59

Bay Offshore Beach

YEAR OLD BOATERS

YEAR OLD BOATERS

75%

GREATER THAN 5KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB


NORTHERN TERRITORY

3.0

6

2.5

5 9

Number (n)

4

2.0

6 8

5

3

1.5

4

1.0

2

3

0.5

2

2

1

3

1

1

1

0

21% Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

7

25%

25%

14%

Boating

2016-17

2014-15

2015-16

2013-14

2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

2007-08

2006-07

2005-06

0.0 2004-05

Boating Swimming/Wading Attempting a Rescue Rock/Cliff Other Unknown

18% 11% 11%

Figure 77

Figure 78

2004–17: 13-YEAR TREND OF NT COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2004–17: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=28)

In 2016–17, drowning deaths in Northern Territory (NT) remained at 3, just above the 13-year average of 2.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in NT occurred when boating (n=7), swimming/wading (n=5) and attempting a rescue (n=3).

Swimming

Attempting a Rescue

2004-17

2016-17

0.16

0.41

2004-17

2016-17

0.10

0.00

Scuba Diving

Boating 2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.24

0.41

0.00

0.00

Watercraft

Snorkelling

2004-17

2016-17

2004-17

2016-17

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

Rock Fishing

Rock/Cliff

2004-17

2016-17

0.00

0.00

2004-17

2016-17

0.10

0.00

Figure 79

13-YEAR AVERAGE VS 2016-17 COASTAL DROWNING RATES BY ACTIVITY Drowning death rates (per 100,000 population) were lower than the 13-year average for rescue attempt and rock/cliff related incidents in 2016-17. Swimming and boating death rates were higher than the 13-year average.

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DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2016–17 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

3 2 2 2 3

FATALITY RATE

1.22

3

DARWIN 2

PER 100,000 POPULATION

DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY

Attempting a Rescue Boating Scuba Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Snorkelling Swimming/Wading Watercraft Other Unknown AVERAGE2 Multiple instances NUMBER per activity at the same location

2

2

Attempting a Rescue Boating Scuba Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Snorkelling Swimming/Wading Watercraft Other Unknown Multiple instances per activity at the same location

33%

33%

Swimming/ Wading Swimming/Wading Boating Unknown

33%

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

0.93

33%

DROWNING DEATHS BY LOCATION

PER 100,000 POPULATION

88% 12% MALE

33%

67% Marina

67% Marina Rock/Cliff

FEMALE

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

45-54 YEAR OLD BOATERS

67%

GREATER THAN 5KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB


GLOSSARY

Dangerous surf warning - An alert issued by the Bureau of Meteorology indicating that surf conditions in an area are unsafe for coastal activities. The warnings are calculated based on wave height, swell direction and swell period and must exceed the predetermined limitations to be in effect. Drowning - The process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid; outcomes are classified as death, morbidity and no morbidity. Emergency response - An action taken by an SLS entity in response to a call for assistance from an emergency management organisation. Falls (trips/slips) - Events that result in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or other lower level. First Aid - Assessments and interventions that can be performed by a bystander (or by the victim) with minimal or no medical equipment. Fishing - Attempting to catch fish. Foreign ethnicity - Describes 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 - A source of potential harm. HRS - Helicopter rescue service. ILS - International Life Saving Federation. Incident - Any unplanned event requiring lifesaving services intervention. Inland - An area that is beyond the line of mean high water or within a landward distance of five times the width of the coastal inlet/river mouth. Inshore - The coastal water area within 500m of the low tide area of the foreshore. International - Describes an individual who is confirmed to reside overseas and/or is a temporary visitor to Australia. IRB - Inflatable rescue boat. Jetty - An artificial structure that projects out into the water from land. JRB - Jet rescue boat. Jump(ing) - The activity of launching off a cliff, rock platform, pier, jetty. Aka tombstoning (UK/Europe/North America).

Adult - for the purpose of this report, adult refers to a person 16-69 years of age. 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 - Trying to retrieve a person in distress and deliver them to a place of safety. 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 - A wave-deposited accumulation of sediment usually sand, but ranging in size up to boulders – deposited between the upper swash limit and wave base. Blackspot - An area with a concentration of coastal/ocean incidents and a high probability/risk of ongoing recurrence. Boating - Using either a powered vessel or sailing boat for pleasure and/or fishing. Coastal - Describes the foreshore, seabed, coastal water and air space above a large body of water (harbour/bay/inlet), including areas up to 3n mi offshore and of which the landward boundary is the line of mean high water, except 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 five. (Adopted from the Resource Management Amendment Act 1993­­— New Zealand). Coastal death - Where the location of the death is on the coast, in the ocean up to 3n mi offshore or inland up to five times the width of the inlet/river. A fatality arising from various circumstances (e.g., boating, fall, shark attack, rock fishing, drowning, medical, diving). COD - Cause of death. Crude drowning rate - A comparative rate of drowning to the size of the population in a given area.

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RIB - Rigid-hull inflatable boat. Rip current - A seaward flowing current of water moving through a surf zone. River - A natural stream of water flowing into an ocean or bay. Rock/cliff - A rock platform that may or may not have a high steep face. Rock/cliff related - Describes an activity besides fishing that is performed on a rocky platform or off a groyne. Rock fishing - Attempting to catch fish from a coastal rock platform or off a groyne. RWC - Rescue water craft. Scuba Diving - Engaging in recreational or commercial SCUBA diving. 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 2016 to June 2017. Snorkelling - Swimming with a snorkel and face mask. SurfCom - SLS radio communications centre that assists in managing the communications of lifesaving operations and data collection. Surf lifesaver - An individual who undertakes patrols at a beach or other aquatic environment. He/she is typically a nonsalaried member qualified in public safety and aquatic rescue. Surf Life Saving Club - A SLS affiliated not-for-profit organisation that has volunteer members who provide coastal safety services to the community. Swimming - Moving through water by moving the body or parts of the body. Territorial sea - The seaward limits of Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s maritime zones, from the coastline to 12n mi from the low tide line. 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. Wading - Walking through water while partially immersed. Watercraft - A piece of non-powered recreational equipment used in the water. Examples include surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, boogie boards, windsurfers or kayaks.

Lake - An inland body of water surrounded by land. Leisure activity - An activity commenced on land such as play, walking, jogging or cycling. Lifeguard - An individual who undertakes patrols at a beach or another aquatic environment. He/she is typically a salaried member, qualified in public safety and aquatic rescue. 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 coordinated group that exists to provide aquatic safety services to the public. This includes Surf Life Saving Clubs, Lifeguards, SurfCom, RWCs, RIBs, JRBs, ORBs, Rescue Helicopters and 4WD units. Local Government Area (LGA) - Also known as local councils, LGAs include cities, towns, shires, municipalities or boroughs. Marina - A boat basin offering dockage and other service for small craft. NCIS - National Coronial Information System. Offshore - Describes the coastal water area beyond the surf zone and inshore area from 500m to 12n mi. Open ocean - The seabed, water and air space above the water between 3n mi and 12n mi (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 - Service undertaken to monitor activities in/around an aquatic environment and respond accordingly through either preventative actions or rescue operations. Patrolled location - A location supervised by a lifesaving service. Preventative action - Direct action taken to reduce or eliminate the probability of a specific rescue, first aid or other reportable incident from happening in the future. PWC - Personal water craft. Rescue - The retrieval of a person in distress, delivering them to a place of safety and the application of first aid and basic life support as may be required. Resuscitation - Preservation or restoration of life by establishing and maintaining a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s airway, breathing and circulation.

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GLOSSARY


REFERENCE

DROWNING DATA ANALYSIS SLSA collects incident data from SurfGuard, the IRD, SurfCom, the National Coronial Information System (NCIS) and by monitoring media reports for drowning incidents. The information is verified with the assistance of each state/ territory SLS entity and compiled for analysis by SLSA’s Coastal Safety Department. The following variables are used to match drowning cases from more than one data source: incident date; location; age; gender; and incident description. The NCIS is considered the ‘gold standard’ when there is a discrepancy in the detail collected from different data sources. Deaths are excluded if they are reported as ‘intentional deaths’, they are inland locations, or ‘drowning/immersion’ is not a contributory factor as noted by the coroner.

METHODOLOGY The National Coastal Safety Report 2017 contains information on Australian community behaviours and attitudes to the coast; SLS capability and membership capacity; rescues and emergency response; and coastal drowning deaths for the period of 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. This information is correct as of 1 October 2017. All care is taken to ensure the statistical information included within this report is correct. However, pending the outcome of ongoing coronial investigations and as SLS state/territory entities update their operational information, this data may be amended. Data in figures may not always add up to 100% due to rounding. THE AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY ANALYSIS Information about community swimming ability, behaviours and attitudes to coastal safety, risk perceptions, safety strategies and rip current identification and safety was gathered from the SLSA National Coastal Safety Survey. Conducted by Omnipoll Market Research, the latest survey was run online over the period 24 April – 1 May 2017 among a national sample of 1,458 respondents aged 16 to 69. The study was carried out in compliance with AS-ISO 20252 - Market, Social and Opinion Research. To reflect the population distribution, results were post-weighted (on age, gender, geographic strata and education) and projected to Australian Bureau of Statistics data. The Australian population aged 16 to 69 (the reference population for this survey) is 16,445,000.

DROWNING DATA LIMITATIONS Over years of investigation 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 be different from annual totals previously reported. In an effort to produce a timely report on our current year’s data we acknowledge that these figures will change. Each year, the changes that occur in the previous year’s report will be made transparent. The data in this current report are not the final figures as 84% of 2016–17 coastal drowning deaths reported remain open cases and 37% of cases do not have a cause of death (COD) listed yet. Once a closure occurs to NCIS cases SLSA modifies 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 the COD is listed as otherwise. Bars of two different colours are used to illustrate the incidents where a COD has not been listed on NCIS in Figure 43. The incidents are included in our annual totals and analysis, and they will remain so until a COD is listed other than drowning/immersion.

CAPABILITY AND RESCUE ANALYSIS SurfGuard, the Incident Report Database (IRD) and SurfCom management system (SurfCom) are web-based applications and part of a suite of applications that enable members, clubs, branches, state offices and SLSA to enter and access SLS operational (including rescues and first aids), capability (including assets and services), educational and administrative data. Information was extracted from SurfGuard to identify how many rescues were performed by volunteers, lifeguards and lifesaving services during 2016–17; and how many active surf lifesavers and award holders there were during 2016–17. The data was verified by SLS state/territory entities. Information about assets, services and emergency response requests was gathered from each SLS state/territory entity.

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NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2017


© 2017 SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTRALIA This publication is copyright. Except as expressly provided in the Copyright Act 1968 and the Copyright Amendment Act 2006, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval systems or transmitted by any means (including electronic, mechanical, microcopying, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without prior permission from Surf Life Saving Australia.

CHANGES FROM PREVIOUS REPORTS As part of the NCIS investigation process, some cases are amended prior to their closure and have resulted in changes to our datasets. This year SLSA has chosen to include ocean drowning deaths occurring between 3 and 12n mi, to ensure all drowning deaths occurring in Australian offshore waters are included.

For enquiries concerning reproduction, contact SLSA on: phone 02 9215 8000; email: info@slsa.asn.au

Table 1

CHANGES IN THE NUMBER OF COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED

2004–05

2013 NCSR

2014 NCSR

2015 NCSR

2016 NCSR

2017 NCSR

89

89

89

89

89

2005–06

95

95

95

96

96

2006–07

98

98

98

102

102

2007–08

89

89

89

89

89

2008–09

89

89

89

88

88

2009–10

85

85

85

85

85

2010–11

72

69

69

69

69

2011–12

115

113

113

113

114

2012–13

121

118

118

118

118

84

83

84

82

102

105

105

130

128

2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17

Every attempt has been made to trace and acknowledge copyright, but in some cases this may not have been possible. Surf Life Saving Australia apologises for any accidental infringements and would welcome any information to redress the situation. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS SLSA wishes to thank the following people and organisations for their contribution to the National Coastal Safety Report 2017: the Australian Government: Department of Health; National Coronial Information System: Leanne Daking; Omnipoll, Frederic Anne; Royal Life Saving Society Australia: Amy Peden and Alison Mahony; SLS state centres, branches, clubs, support operations and ALS; and SLSA major national corporate partners: DHL and Westpac. This report was compiled by Shane Daw, National Coastal Risk and Safety Manager, Eveline Rijksen, Research Coordinator, April Ryan, Public Safety Coordinator, Keiran Stone, Lifesaving Officer and Murray Copas, Lifesaving Operations Manager. Cover Image: Shane Daw. Design: Anika Martin, Tom Parsons.

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SUGGESTED CITATION: Surf Life Saving Australia (2017) National Coastal Safety Report 2017. SLSA: Sydney. REFERENCES • Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017, Australian Demographic Statistics, 2004–17 cat. no. 3101.0, viewed 4 October 2017, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3101.0. • Australian Water Safety Council (2016). Australian Water Safety Strategy 2016–20. Australian Water Safety Council: Sydney. • Newspoll (2009) Surf Safety and Rips Study. Newspoll: Sydney. • Ryan, A, Rijksen, E, Daw, S (2017) ‘Coastal Safety Brief: Rip Currents.’ Surf Life Saving Australia: Sydney. • SLSA National Coastal Safety Survey (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Newspoll/Omnipoll Online Omnibus April 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. • SLSA Annual Reports.

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CONTACT INFORMATION SLS receives Government funding to commence valuable initiatives and programs. However, we rely on the generosity of the community and corporate support to ensure they continue. To help Surf Life Saving please donate to: Surf Life Saving Foundation­—slsfoundation.com.au For more information: Surf Life Saving Australia—sls.com.au Surf Life Saving New South Wales—surflifesaving.com.au Surf Life Saving Northern Territory—lifesavingnt.com.au Surf Life Saving Queensland—lifesaving.com.au Surf Life Saving South Australia—surflifesavingsa.com.au Surf Life Saving Tasmania—slst.asn.au Life Saving Victoria—lifesavingvictoria.com.au Surf Life Saving Western Australia—mybeach.com.au

REFERENCE METHODOLOGY


DROWNING S N A P S H OT

COASTAL & OCEAN DROWNING DEATHS

MALE

FEMALE Location

AT THE BEACH

OFFSHORE

ROCK/CLIFF

AT LEAST 5KM FROM A LIFESAVING SERVICE

Activity

28% SWIMMING

14%

SNORKELLING

23% BOATING & PWC

9%

WATERCRAFT

3 26

10 15

22 32 8

National Coastal Safety Report 2017  
National Coastal Safety Report 2017  
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