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N ATION AL COA S TAL SAFE T Y RE POR T 2016 S U R F L I FE S AV I N G AU S T R A L I A


DROWNING SNAPSHOT

COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

MALE

FEMALE Location

Contributing Factors

29 % 17% 14% AT THE BEACH

AT LEAST 5KM FROM A LIFESAVING SERVICE

MEDICAL CONDITION OR INJURY

ALCOHOL/ DRUGS

RIP CURRENTS

Activity

30% SWIMMING

9% ROCK FISHING

23%

3

BOATING

20

8%

8 22

WATERCRAFT

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

20

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NATIONAL COASTAL SAFETY REPORT 2016

53 4


CONTENTS

IN T RO D U C T I O N

04

06

30

S EC TION ONE: COM MUNIT Y A ND C A PA B ILIT Y

S EC TION T WO: DROWNING A N A LYS IS

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

32

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

09

D ROWNIN G LO C AT I O N S

36

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

38

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

12

Q U EEN S L A ND

40

RI S K PERCEP T I O N

14

V I C TO RI A

42

RIP CU RREN T S

16

WE S T ERN AUS T R A L I A

44

C A PA B IL I T Y

18

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

46

M EM B ER S HIP C A PACI T Y

22

TA S M A NI A

48

RE S CU E S

23

N O RT HERN T ERRI TO RY

50

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

24

EM ERG EN C Y RE S P O N S E

26

D ROWNIN G LO C AT I O N S

27

B E ACH INJ U RIE S

28

G LOS S A RY

52

REFEREN CE

54


INTRODUCTION

T

he Australian coastline is one of the country’s most popular recreation destinations and a place of wonder and enjoyment. However, each year on our beaches many people are injured or end up in situations that ultimately cost them their lives. As the nation’s peak coastal water safety, drowning prevention and rescue authority, Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) undertakes research to understand what, where and when these coastal drowning deaths occur. Our vision is zero preventable deaths in Australian waters and, in our view, one death is one too many. The National Coastal Safety Report 2016 provides a detailed analysis for 2015–16 of coastal drowning deaths and sadly the news is not positive. In 2015–16, there has been a 24% increase in coastal drowning deaths, and 130 people lost their lives. Of those, we have seen a 3% increase in males (males representing 89% of coastal drowning deaths) from the previous year. Swimming/wading (30%) remains the highest activity when coastal drowning deaths occur. However, this year has seen a 58% increase in boating-related fatalities. The beach continues to be the leading location (48%) for coastal drowning deaths, while offshore fatalities have risen by 113% to represent 26% of locations. According to the 2016 SLSA National Coastal Safety Survey the number of people participating in swimming and wading at the coast has increased by 20% (8.1 million in 2015 to 9.7 million in 2016). Of note, only 44% of people report they usually go to patrolled beaches during patrol hours. Medical conditions or injury (29%), alcohol and/or drugs (17%) and rip currents (14%) continue to be the main contributing factors to coastal drowning deaths. Although the proportion of rip-current-related deaths has reduced from 17% to 14%, the number of rip-related fatalities this year remains the same as 2014–15. More than a third of deaths (37%) occurred further than 5km from a Surf Life Saving club yet, at the same time, SLS members performed 3% more rescues and 12% more preventative actions than the previous year. These figures demonstrate the continued efforts and value of the surf lifesaver on the beach.

Taking a holistic approach to drowning prevention, the National Coastal Safety Report 2016 recognises that drowning is only part of the analysis that informs sound decision-making regarding coastal safety. This report also includes research into first aid treatments and preventative actions by SLS members, as well as information about the Australian community’s coastal visitation and their perceptions regarding coastal hazards. This analysis provides SLSA critical evidence-based insights and understanding to address water safety issues and to provide education for the community.

ANALYSIS PROVIDES SLSA CRITICAL EVIDENCE-BASED INSIGHTS AND UNDERSTANDING TO ADDRESS WATER SAFETY ISSUES. Our continued commitment to the Australian Water Safety Strategy 2016–20 to reduce drowning deaths by 50% by 2020 remains our aspirational target. This ambitious goal recognises the fact that the loss of life at any aquatic location is not something to be accepted, but to be challenged. Through a commitment to collaboration and undertaking evidencebased analysis as part of the total strategy, we strive to achieve this goal. I commend this report to you as a vital tool to assist with understanding and reducing drowning deaths along Australia’s coast.

Melissa King Chief Executive Surf Life Saving Australia

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

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NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


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, 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 ‘Community and 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 Diving 8. Over 55 Years 9. Dangerous Marine Creatures 10. New Migrants

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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.

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NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


COMMUNIT Y AND C A PA B I LI T Y SECTION ONE

13,034 46,061 RESCUES PROFICIENT MEMBERS

1,331,648 VOLUNTEER PATROL HOURS

986

312

1,017

IRBs

Clubs

Helicopter Missions


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 30 June 2014. 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

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NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


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

Scuba Diving Rock Fishing

2%

2%

3%

Surfing 1% 3%

Total – 7%

2% 1%

Watercraft 1% 3%

Snorkelling

5+ times per week 1–4 times per week 1–3 per month 3–11 times per year less often

Total –3%

1% 2%

2%

1% 2%

2%

Total – 9%

4%

2%

5%

Boating

2%

4%

Land-based Fishing

2%

5%

Swimming 1%

Total – 12% Total – 13%

5% 7% 9%

9%

0

Total – 18%

5%

Total – 21%

5% 11%

10

27%

20

30

11%

40

50

Total – 59% 60

Figure 3

2016: COASTAL VISITATION BY ACTIVITY Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? How often do you participate in these activities? More than half of the Australian population visit the coast at least once per

year to swim, making it the most popular coastal activity. The second most popular activity is land-based fishing with 21% of people participating at least once a year.

Swimming

Surfing

9.7 million swimmers 3.4 million frequent swimmers (at least once a month) 8 swimming hours per occasional swimmer per year 80 swimming hours per frequent swimmer per year

1.9 million surfers 1 million frequent surfers (at least once a month) 10 surfing hours per occasional surfer per year 173 surfing hours per frequent surfer per year

Land-based Fishing

Watercraft

3.3 million fishers 1 million frequent fishers (at least once a month) 16 fishing hours per occasional fisher per year 118 fishing hours per frequent fisher per year

1.5 million watercraft users 0.6 million frequent watercraft users (at least once a month) 10 watercraft hours per occasional watercraft user per year 91 watercraft hours per frequent watercraft user per year

Boating

Rock Fishing

3 million boaters 0.9 million frequent boaters (at least once a month) 16 boating hours per occasional boater per year 127 boating hours per frequent boater per year

1.2 million rock fishers 0.6 million frequent rock fishers (at least once a month) 16 fishing hours per occasional rock fisher per year 188 fishing hours per frequent rock fisher per year

Snorkelling

Scuba Diving

2.1 million snorkellers 0.5 million frequent snorkellers (at least once a month) 8 snorkelling hours per occasional snorkeller per year 82 snorkelling hours per frequent snorkeller per year

0.4 million scuba divers 0.2 million frequent scuba divers (at least once a month) 11 diving hours per occasional diver per year 97 diving hours per frequent diver per year

SECTION ONE

09

COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


A C T I V I T Y P A R T I C I P AT I O N

59%

Total

66%

24%

QLD

55%

16%

VIC 63%

WA

24%

WA

54%

SA

55%

TAS

51%

NT

20%

NSW/ACT

QLD

TAS

17%

50+ 58%

SA

20%

35–49

51%

VIC

25%

25–34

59%

50+

22%

16–24

65%

NSW/ACT

17%

Female 67%

16–24 25–34 35–49

25%

Male

61%

Female

21%

Total

57%

Male

23% 29% 27%

NT

Figure 4

Figure 5

2016: SWIMMING PARTICIPATION

2016: LAND-BASED FISHING

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? Almost 60% of the Australian population swim at the beaches and coastal areas at least once per year. It is the most popular coastal activity. Young people aged 16–24 years have the highest participants (67%).

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? One in five people say they go fishing along the coast (excluding rock fishing) at least once per year. A higher proportion of men (25%) than women (17%) participate in land-based fishing.

18%

Total

23%

16–24 16%

12%

35–49 7%

50+ 19%

17%

NSW/ACT 24%

QLD WA

19%

25–34

15%

NSW/ACT VIC

21%

16–24

21%

50+

13%

Female

25–34 35–49

14%

Male

15%

Female

13%

Total 22%

Male

15%

QLD

13%

11% 11%

VIC 15%

WA 17%

SA

9%

SA

TAS

23%

TAS

7%

NT

23%

NT* 0%

Figure 6

Figure 7

2016: BOATING PARTICIPATION

2016: SNORKELLING PARTICIPATION

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? Almost one-fifth of Australians participate in boating along the Australian coast. It is more popular with men (22%) than women (15%). Young people aged 16–24 years have the highest participation (23%).

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? Men (14%) and women(13%) participate in snorkelling in almost equal proportions.

*Due to a small sample size NT recorded no participants in some activities in 2016.

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NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


12%

Total

19%

16–24 8%

8%

35–49 5%

50+ 14%

NSW/ACT

9%

VIC

7% 8%

SA

9%

QLD

12%

VIC

11%

NSW/ACT

13%

QLD

7%

TAS

13%

25–34

5%

WA

16%

16–24

20%

50+

8%

Female

25–34 35–49

11%

Male

7%

Female

9%

Total 17%

Male

NT* 0%

WA

7%

SA

7%

TAS

7% 23%

NT

Figure 8

Figure 9

2016: SURFING PARTICIPATION

2016: WATERCRAFT PARTICIPATION

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? NSW (14%) and Queensland (13%) are higher than the national average while SA (8%), WA (7%) and Tas (7%) are significantly lower. Men (17%) participate in surfing or bodyboarding in greater numbers than women (7%) and well above the national average (12%).

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? Watercraft include paddlecraft, stand-up surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing. There are 9% of Australians who use watercraft on the coast. People aged 16–24 years (16%) have the highest participation.

7%

Total

11%

Male 4%

Female

13%

16–24

50+

3%

3%

6% 2% 1%

50+ 7%

NSW/ACT

QLD

7%

QLD

WA

4%

35–49

NSW/ACT VIC

6%

5% 1% 2%

VIC 10%

3%

WA

SA

12%

TAS

12%

TAS

NT

12%

NT* 0%

2%

SA 1%

Figure 11

Figure 10

2016: SCUBA DIVING PARTICIPATION

2016: ROCK FISHING PARTICIPATION

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? Men (3%) and women (3%) participate in scuba diving in equal proportions. In NSW (5%) and people aged 25–34 years (6%) have the highest participation.

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? Less than one in ten people (7%) say they go rock fishing on the Australian coast. Men (11%) rock fish in significantly higher numbers than women (4%).

3%

Female 25–34

5%

35–49

3%

16–24

12%

25–34

Total Male

SECTION ONE

11

COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


SWIMMING ABILITY

Swimming Ability in General Swimming Ability in the Ocean

37%

59%

32%

31%

37% 23%

22% 16%

13% 9%

8%

5% Unable To Swim

Weak Swimmer

Average Swimmer

Competent Swimmer

Highly Competent Swimmer

1% 2% Able to Swim 50m in a Pool without Stopping

Can't Say

Able to Swim 50m in the Ocean without Stopping

Figure 12

Figure 13

2014–16: SWIMMING ABILITY OF THE AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC

2014–16: ABILITY TO SWIM 50M WITHOUT STOPPING

Question: How would you rate your swimming ability? And how would you rate your swimming ability in the ocean? Australians rate themselves as less competent swimmers in the ocean than in other locations. While 31% of people say they are competent or highly competent swimmers in general, only 21% of people rate themselves similarly in the ocean.

Question: Are you currently able to swim 50m without stopping or touching the bottom? Are you currently able to swim 50m in the ocean without stopping or touching the bottom? While 59% of people say they are able to swim 50m or more without stopping in a pool or other enclosed body of water, only 37% of people say they are able to swim 50m in the ocean.

13%

4% 14%

17%

24% Swim for 15 minutes 28%

24%

I Cannot Float or Swim I Can Comfortably Float for Over 1 Minute and Swim a Little Distance I Can Comfortably Float and Gently Swim for about 15 Minutes I Can Comfortably Float and Gently Swim for up to 30 Minutes I Can Comfortably Float and Gently Swim for up to 60 Minutes I Can Swim Constantly for Over 1 hour and Float as Long as I Wish

10%

12%

14%

27%

27%

Never

13%

24%

This Year Last Year 2–5 Years Ago 6+ Years Ago Never Can't Say

Figure 14

Figure 15

2016: SWIMMING ABILITY IN COASTAL AREAS

2014–16: FREQUENCY OF SWIMMING MORE THAN 50M IN THE OCEAN

Question: Which of the following best describes your current and unaided swimming ability in coastal areas? Almost one quarter of Australians (24%) say they can comfortably float or swim in the ocean for 15 minutes. While, 14% say they can comfortably float or swim for less than 15 minutes.

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Question: When was the last time you swam 50m or further in the ocean? More than one quarter of Australians have never swum 50m or more in the ocean. Only 12% of people have swum 50m or further this year.

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NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


25%

3%

3%

1%2% 15%

14% 14% 10% 10%

Patrolled Beach During Patrol Hours Only Patrolled Beach but Not During Patrol Hours Only Unpatrolled Beach Rock Pool Harbour Pool Netted/Enclosed Pool Can't Say

4%

4%

3%

3%

3%

Figure 16

Figure 17

2014–16 USUAL SWIMMING LOCATION

2016: REASONS FOR SWIMMING AT UNPATROLLED BEACHES

Question: Where do you usually go swimming in the ocean? Less than half of the Australian population (44%) usually swim at patrolled beaches during patrol hours only, while 26% swim at patrolled beaches outside of patrol hours. More than one in five Australians (21%) usually swim at unpatrolled locations.

100 90

4% 7% 31%

3% 18% 2%

22%

2% 3%

4% 26%

80 25%

70 60 50

30

2% 1%

6% 19%

3% 9%

2% 2%

40%

4% 12%

3%

18% 21%

27%

69% 60%

55%

52%

40

15%

29%

29%

45%

21%

Can’t Say Never Sometimes Most of the Time Always

28%

20

19%

10 0.0

Only Swim 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

Check Surf Conditions with a Lifesaver, Lifeguard or Other Authoritative Source

Check For and Obey Safety Signs Posted on the Beach

Look for the Avoid Swimming Follow the Presence of Rip Under the Advice of a Lifesaver Currents in the Influence of or Lifeguard Area Prior to Entering Alcohol When You are on the Water or Drugs a Patrolled Beach

Figure 18

2014–2016: SAFETY PRACTICES OF SWIMMERS Question: How often do you follow these swimming practices? Half (52%) of Australian coastal swimmers say they always swim between the red and yellow flags when

SECTION ONE

3%

Question: What are the reasons why you swim or wade at beaches/coastal areas that are not patrolled by lifeguards or lifesavers, or outside patrolled times? One-quarter of people who swim at unpatrolled locations do so because they are not always or not ever patrolled. Some people do so because they think it looks safe/calm (14%) or to avoid crowds (14%).

27% 33%

3%

Other

4%

Don't Know

5%

No Reason

26%

6%

I Swim with Others

Patrolled Beaches

8%

Better Beaches/Good Beaches are Not Patrolled Easier/Convenient /Not as Difficult Better Waves for Surfing /Body boarding

44%

44%

Not Always Patrolled or Not Ever Patrolled It is a Safe Beach /Calm Water Patrolled Beaches are Too Crowded Patrolled Beaches are Too Far Away I Wade or Do Not Go in Very Deep More Privacy /Isolated I Swim Outside Patrol Times Peaceful/Relaxing /Quiet I'm an Experienced Enough Swimmer Risk/Adventure /Freedom/Fun

21%

they are on a patrolled beach. Only 40% of swimmers say they always swim with at least one other person.

13

COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


RISK PERCEPTION

6%

4% 4%

6% 12%

7%

8%

15%

34%

47%

19%

Somewhat Hazardous

Not Very Hazardous

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

47%

38%

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

34%

Figure 19

Figure 20

2014–16: HAZARD PERCEPTION OF THE COAST

2014–16: HAZARD PERCEPTION OF THE BEACH

Question: How hazardous do you believe the coast (by coast we mean the ocean and surf zone and the adjacent rocky coast) to be? Less than half of the Australian population believe the coast to be somewhat hazardous (47%), while more than a quarter of people (26%) perceive it to be not very or not at all hazardous.

Question: How hazardous do you believe the beach (by beach we mean the ocean and surf zone and the adjacent sandy beach) to be? Almost half of the Australian population (46%) say the beach is not very or not at all hazardous, while 12% of people believe it to be very or extremely hazardous.

Activities People Say are Very or Extremely Hazardous Coastal Hazards People Say are Very or Extremely Hazardous 57%

Crocodiles

Sharks

Tropical Marine Stinger Creatures

55%

62%

Sun Exposure

55%

Marine Stinger Creatures

72% 62% 47%

25%

25%

Surfing

Scuba Diving

35%

Rip Currents

Rock Fishing

Waves

Watercraft

13%

Snorkelling

Land-based Fishing

11%

Boating

8%

Swimming

8%

Wading

20% 15%

Figure 21

2015–16: PERCEPTION OF COASTAL ACTIVITIES Question: How hazardous do you think it is to participate in each of the following activities in Australian coastal areas? How would you rate the following hazards in Australian coastal areas? Rip currents are seen to be very or extremely hazardous by 72% of Australians,

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while 35% of people think similarly about waves. Participating in popular coastal activities such as wading (8%) and land-based fishing (8%) is not perceived to be very hazardous. Rock fishing is seen to be very or extremely hazardous by 47% of people.

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NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


45%

Frequent Participants Who Say the Activity is Very or Extremely Hazardous Occasional Participants Who Say the Activity is Very or Extremely Hazardous 43% 38% 34%

33%

32% 25% 21%

21%

16%

15%

13%

11%

9% 5%

3%

Swimming

Land-based Fishing

Boating

Snorkelling

Surfing

Watercraft

Scuba Diving

Rock Fishing

5%

Wading

10%

Figure 22

2015–16: PERCEPTION OF COASTAL ACTIVITIES BY PARTICIPANTS Question: How hazardous do you think it is to participate in each of the following activities in Australian coastal areas? Frequent participants in coastal activities (at least once per month) rate participation in the activity to be more hazardous

than occasional participants in the same activity. Only 10% of occasional watercraft users perceive the activity to be very or extremely hazardous, while 34% of frequent watercraft participants rate their activity very or extremely hazardous.

Participants Who Think They are Experienced Enough to Take a Few Risks Participants Who Have Been Rescued 61%

58%

58%

55%

52%

50%

42%

40%

18% 12%

11% 7%

4%

Swimming

Boating

Snorkelling

Surfing

6%

Land-based Fishing

7%

Watercraft

Scuba Diving

Rock Fishing

7%

Figure 23

2016: PARTICIPANTS WHO THINK THEY ARE EXPERIENCED ENOUGH TO TAKE RISKS Question: Would you agree or disagree with the following statement ‘I’m experienced enough to take a few risks when participating in …’? And have you ever been rescued when

SECTION ONE

participating in these activities? More than one in two surfers (58%) say they are experienced enough to take a few risks. Almost one out of five (18%) surfers say they have been rescued.

15

COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


RIP CURRENTS

R

Young males (15–39 years) are highly represented in the drowning statistics and are a key target group for rip-currentrelated interventions. SLSA undertook behavioural insights research into this high-risk group to better understand their perception of hazards and what motivates them to follow water safety procedures. The findings suggested young men believe they know enough about coastal safety and they are doing enough to remain safe. However, it is not necessarily the case. The intelligence from the research has been used to inform a long-term public safety campaign to raise awareness about rips and to influence people’s behaviour about rips. The campaign is designed to disrupt people’s thinking about rips. It busts common myths associated with beach safety and highlights that young males (15–39 years of age) are most likely to drown in a rip. Videos showing how to identify rips and how to escape from them provide necessary educational material to improve people’s awareness of the rip current hazard.

ip currents are the number one hazard on Australia’s coastline. They account for more deaths per year than sharks, floods and cyclones combined (Brander et al., 2013). SLSA’s National Coastal Safety Surveys revealed that most Australians view rip currents as dangerous. However, participating in swimming and wading (where rip currents may be present) is not seen to be hazardous. Additionally, two-thirds of beachgoers are not able to identify a rip, and two out of three people who think they can identify a rip, cannot do so correctly. The surveys revealed that: • 72% of people believe that rip currents are very or extremely hazardous • 4 4% of occasional swimmers do not believe swimming at the coast is hazardous • only 31% of people could accurately identify a rip current • only 12% of people are very confident about their ability to escape a rip without assistance. 47%

46%

Total Male Female

42% 38%

37%

29%

32%

31%

25% 20%

30%

21%

19%

16%

20%

15% 11%

10%

3% 3% 3% Not at All Confident

Not Very Confident

Somewhat Confident

Very Confident

Total

Don't Know

Highly Competent Swimmer

Competent Swimmer

Average Swimmer

Weak Swimmer

Unable to Swim

Figure 24

Figure 25

2016: CONFIDENCE OF SWIMMERS TO IDENTIFY RIP CURRENTS

2015–16: ABILITY OF SWIMMERS TO IDENTIFY RIP CURRENTS

Question: How confident are you that you could identify a rip current? Four out of ten coastal swimmers (41%) are not very or not at all confident they can identify a rip current. Men are more confident in their ability to identify rip currents (68% somewhat or very confident) than women (49% somewhat or very confident).

Question: Please look at the picture below (in the survey) and identify the location of any rip currents. Only 31% of respondents were able to accurately identify rip currents when shown two images containing rip currents. While 46% of people who reported themselves as highly competent ocean swimmers correctly identified the rip currents, only 20% of people who reported they are unable to swim were able to identify the rip currents.

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16

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


7% 6% 8%

21%

4%

7%

19%

12%

2%

62% Fairly Good (or Higher) 27%

22%

12%

No Chance, Almost No Chance (1 in 100) Very Slight Possibility (1 in 10) Some Possibility (3 in 10) Fairly Good Possibility (5 in 10) Probable (7 in 10) Almost Sure (9 in 10) Certain, Practically Certain (99 in 100) Don't know

Very Confident

25% Not at All Confident Not Very Confident Somewhat Confident Very Confident Don't Know

40%

Figure 26

Figure 27

2016: PERCEIVED LIKELIHOOD OF BEING CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT OUTSIDE THE FLAGS

2016: CONFIDENCE OF SWIMMERS TO ESCAPE A RIP CURRENT

Question: How likely do you think it is that you will get caught in a rip if you swim outside the flags? Almost two-thirds of swimmers think there is a fairly good or higher chance of being caught in a rip current when swimming outside of the red and yellow flags.

Question: How confident are you that you could get out of a rip current without assistance? Only 12% of coastal swimmers are very confident that they could escape from a rip current without assistance.

HOW TO SURVIVE A RIP CURRENT Reassess the situation. If what you are doing is not working, try one of the other options (left) until you are rescued or you return to shore.

Rips are complex, can quickly change shape and location. The best way to survive a rip current is to swim at a patrolled location between the red and yellow flags. Through research undertaken by SLSA and the University of New South Wales the following principles for surviving rip currents were established (Bradstreet et al., 2014). If you find yourself caught in a rip current stay calm, conserve your energy and consider these options: • Seek help. Raise your arm and call out. You may be rescued. • Float with the current. It may return you to a shallow sandbank. • Swim parallel to the beach or towards the breaking waves. You may escape the rip current.

SECTION ONE

ESCAPE

CURR

17

E NT

ESCAPE

RIP CURRENT

COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y

CURR

E NT


C A PA B I LIT Y

S

urf Life Saving (SLS), through its team of dedicated volunteers and professionals, 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. Our surf lifesavers are equipped with fit-for-purpose equipment designed to operate in the hazardous and challenging conditions that SLS services often encounter. Thousands of rescue boards and rescue tubes are used around the flagged patrol areas of our 312 Surf Life Saving clubs. They are supported by 986 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 area are vital to our drowning prevention strategy. Surf lifesavers undertake these patrols using 351 side-by-side all-terrain-vehicles and 4WD vehicles. SLS support operation services extend further beyond the red and yellow flags to provide surveillance and emergency response in isolated and hazardous coastal areas. Agile craft such as 174 rescue watercraft and nine jet rescue

boats (JRBs) allow surf lifesavers to access whitewater areas such as coastal bars and rocky coastlines. A national fleet of 18 offshore rescue boats and nine rigid-hull inflatable boats further expand the SLS response capability providing longer range surveillance and blue-water rescue services as well as supporting SLS in SAR operations. For rapid, isolated or complex rescues, nine 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. Critical radio communications support these services via a coastal radio network connected to communication and operation centres. The centres coordinate the SLS emergency response system and input data into our SurfCom data management system. These services are expertly delivered and managed through the 46,061 proficient lifesavers (Bronze Medallion and Surf Rescue Certificate holders) across the country. They receive specialised training to industry bestpractice standards under the Australian

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

18

Qualifications Framework to ensure the community receives reliable service of the highest quality across the nation. AUSTRALIAN LIFEGUARD SERVICE The Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) is a national lifeguard provider of beach and pool lifeguard services to 61 local government councils and land managers all across Australia. It is the largest supplier of professional lifeguards in Australia. Annually, the ALS employs more than 700 full-time, seasonal and casual lifeguards and management staff. ALS patrols are fully integrated into and work alongside SLSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volunteer beach patrol services, support operations services, 24-hour emergency response systems and strategically located Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Services. ALS patrols vary from single-day patrols on peak periods and public holidays (e.g., Australia Day) to private providers to 365-day services for large local governments. They are a crucial component in offering a seamless service to the community during peak periods. Several local councils around Australia maintain lifeguard services. Statistics for those services have not been included in this report.

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


Figure 28

2015â&#x20AC;&#x201C;16: SURF LIFE SAVING CLUBS There are 312 clubs around Australia: 129 in New South Wales, 59 in Queensland, 57 in Victoria, 29 in Western Australia, 21 in South Australia, 14 in Tasmania and 3 in Northern Territory.

Darwin

3 59 29 21

Brisbane

129

Perth Adelaide

57 0

1,000km

Canberra

Melbourne

SCALE

14 Hobart

SECTION ONE

19

COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y

Sydney


C A PA B I LIT Y

Figure 29

2015â&#x20AC;&#x201C;16: AUSTRALIAN LIFEGUARD SERVICE The Australian Lifeguard Service provides 226 lifeguard services around Australia in 61 local government areas: 84 in New South Wales, 80 in Queensland, 38 in Victoria, 18 in Western Australia, 2 in South Australia, 1 in Tasmania and 3 in Northern Territory.

Darwin

3 80 18 2

Brisbane

84

Perth Adelaide

Canberra

38 0

1,000km

Sydney

Melbourne

SCALE

1

Hobart

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

20

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


Figure 30

2015â&#x20AC;&#x201C;16: SLS MAJOR ASSET LOCATION AND SERVICE RANGE SLS maintains a fleet of 174 rescue watercraft, as well as 9 jet rescue boats, 9 rigid-hull inflatable boats, 18 offshore rescue boats and 9 helicopters. Their locations and service ranges are depicted on this map. Rescue Watercraft (RWC) Jet Rescue Boat (JRB) Darwin

Rigid-hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) Offshore Rescue Boat (ORB) Helicopter

Brisbane

Perth Adelaide Canberra

0

1,000km

Melbourne

SCALE

Hobart

SECTION ONE

21

COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y

Sydney


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

19,322

Bronze Medallion Surf Rescue Certificate

18,141

8,703

8,364

6,052

5,872

4,489

4,380

2,363 1,314

1,186

984

244 NSW

QLD

VIC

WA

2,462

2,300

SA

688 83

124 18

TAS

NT

717 NSW

QLD

VIC

WA

SA

TAS

Figure 31

Figure 32

2015–16: PROFICIENT LIFESAVERS

2015–16: PATROLLING LIFESAVERS

There were a total of 39,869 proficient Bronze Medallion holders and 6,192 Surf Rescue Certificate holders for the entire 2015–16 season.

There were a total of 41,860 members who performed a patrol during the 2015–16 season.

7,622

Proficient IRB Driver Proficient IRB Crew

115 NT

Advanced Resuscitation Techniques Apply First Aid

7,344 7,407

5,323 4,545

4,459

2,496

3,313

2,691 1,354

1,418 755

NSW

QLD

VIC

WA

2,267 2,088 1,099 579 SA

218 371

1,151 1,329 1,154 1,030 29

TAS

364

48

NT

NSW

QLD

VIC

WA

SA

130

TAS

49 42 NT

Figure 33

Figure 34

2015–16: INFLATABLE RESCUE BOAT OPERATORS

2015–16: FIRST AID QUALIFICATIONS

There were a total of 9,976 proficient inflatable rescue boat (IRB) drivers and 17,708 proficient IRB crew for the entire 2015–16 season.

There were a total of 15,642 proficient Advanced Resuscitation Techniques Certificate holders and 17,349 proficient Apply First Aid Certificate holders for the entire 2015–16 season.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

22

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


RESCUES

Figure 35

2015–16: RESCUES PER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA (LGA) SLS lifesavers, lifeguards and support services personnel performed rescues across 103 LGAs around Australia during 2015–16.

Key to Rescues per LGA 1 – 9 Rescues

Darwin

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

197 3,636 1,010 122

Brisbane

7,503

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

478 0

1,000km

Canberra

Melbourne

SCALE

88

Hobart

SECTION ONE

23

COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


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

Figure 36

2015–16: PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS PER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA (LGA) SLS lifesavers, lifeguards and support services personnel performed preventative actions across 104 LGAs around Australia during 2015–16.

Key to Preventative Actions per LGA 1–999 Actions

Darwin

1,000–4,999 Actions 5,000–12,999 Actions 13,000–39,999 Actions > 40,000 Actions

11,279 814,869 51,303 16,900

Brisbane

412,702

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

Canberra

0

1,000km

Melbourne

100,128

SCALE

1,379

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

24

Hobart

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


7,503 814,869

3,636

412,702

1,010 478 NSW

QLD

VIC

100,128 122

88

197

SA

TAS

NT

WA

NSW

QLD

VIC

51,303 WA

16,900

1,379

11,279

SA

TAS

NT

Figure 37

Figure 38

2015–16: RESCUES PER STATE

2015–16: PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS PER STATE

SLS lifesavers, lifeguards and support services personnel performed 13,034 rescues during 2015–16.

SLS lifesavers, lifeguards and support services personnel performed 1,408,560 preventative actions during 2015–16.

SECTION ONE

25

COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Figure 39

2015–16: EMERGENCY RESPONSE PER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA (LGA) SLS support services personnel responded to requests for assistance from emergency services across 95 LGAs around Australia during 2015–16.

Key to Emergency Responses per LGA 1–2 Emergency Responses Darwin

3–5 Emergency Responses 6–13 Emergency Responses 14–24 Emergency Responses >25 Emergency Responses

2 142 45 129

Brisbane

733

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

334 0

1,000km

Canberra

Melbourne

SCALE

33

Hobart

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

26

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


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

Figure 40

2004–16: DROWNING DEATHS PER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA (LGA) During 2004 to 2016, there were 1,168 drowning deaths in 153 LGAs throughout Australia.

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

24 192 169 90

Brisbane

459

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

179 0

1,000km

Canberra

Melbourne

SCALE

55

Hobart

SECTION ONE

27

COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


BEACH INJURIES

B

etween 2010–11 and 2014–15 SLS lifesavers, lifeguards and support operations personnel performed 65,798 rescues and treated 274,211 patients with injuries (SLSA, annual reports). Of those rescues and first aid treatments, 25,907 (8% of total incidents) were serious enough to have a detailed Incident Report completed and data entered into the SLSA Incident Report Database (IRD). A retrospective analysis was completed by David Reid at Edith Cowan University of all injuries occurring on Australian beaches over a five-year period, for which an SLSA Incident Report was completed. The study design included all incidents entered into the SLSA IRD. In addition to rescues recorded, there were a significant number of people who were injured or became ill on the beach each year. Cases included individuals who were rescued, received first aid or were subject to complaints. Of the 25,907 incidents that had reports completed, 86% were first aid incidents,11% were rescues (which could also have involved a first aid element) and the remaining 3% were complaints or other incident types. Sixty-six per cent of incidents involved males, and 48% involved persons aged under 18 years.

INCIDENT LOCATION AND TYPE Twenty-nine per cent of the incidents occurred in the flagged area, with a further 39% occurring outside but near the flags. The most common injuries were open wounds (31%), soft tissue injuries (13%), fractures/dislocations (11%) and neurological injuries (9%). The majority of incidents occurred when the patient was swimming or wading (29%) or using surf craft (8%). Of the incidents recorded, 37% were referred to ambulance transport with a further 26% referred to a medical practitioner or hospital by their own transport. The significant number of beach injuries and rescues performed each year by SLSA staff and volunteers highlights the valuable contribution the organisation makes to the Australian community. It also has implications for the organisation’s training and resourcing requirements. The volume of incidents reflects the importance that the beach plays in many people’s lives in Australia, as well as the sporting and tourism roles it has in the community.

100 90 80 Percentage (%)

70 60 50 40 60+ years 40–59 years 25–39 years 15–24 years 0-14 years

30 20

Soft Tissue Injury

Search & Rescue

Respiratory

Other

Open Wound

Neurological

Musculoskeletal

Mental Health

Fracture / Dislocation

Environmental

Ear, Nose, Throat

Endocrine

Complaint

Collapse

Cardiac

Burn

Bites & Stings

Allergic Reaction

0

Abdominal Pain

10

Figure 41

2010–15: INJURY TYPE BY AGE (n=16,580) Children (0–14 years) make up almost a third, young adults (15–25 years) make up just under a quarter of the incidents. Those in the 15–39 age bracket generally make up the highest proportion of persons injured on beaches. The exceptions are for

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

bites/stings and burns, which are largely the domain of children aged 0–14 years. Persons aged 25–39 are over-represented in the mental health category.

28

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


11%

2% 1%

1% % 22%

6%

86%

30%

9%

First Aid

Open Wound

10% First Aid Rescue Complaint Other

86%

30%

11%

23%

Figure 42

Figure 43

2010–15: INJURY TYPE (n=24,719)

2010–15: NATURE OF INJURY (n=16,580)

The vast majority of incidents recorded in SurfGuard had an element of first aid. Many rescues involved first aid, hence many ‘first aid’ incidents are the result of a rescue. Rescues, as noted above, did not involve a first aid element. Males are more likely to be involved in all types of incidents.

Injuries have been given a hierarchy based on their perceived acuity to determine the most ‘life threatening’ condition for coding. The majority of injuries and illnesses are not immediately life threatening, however there is the potential for serious conditions such as respiratory, fratures and neurological.

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20

Sprain/Strain

Rescue

Other

Soft Tissue Injury

Respiratory

Open Wound

Neurological

Mental Health

Ear, Nose, Throat

Fracture/Dislocation

Environmental

Endocrine

Complaint

Collapse

Burn

Cardiac

Bites & Stings

0

Allergic Reaction

10

Abdominal Pain

Percentage (%)

Open Wound Soft Tissue Injury Fracture/Dislocation Bites & Stings Neurological Respiratory Ear, Nose, Throat Cardiac Environmental Other Search & Rescue Musculoskeletal

Using Recreational Watercraft Water Safety Walking/Playing Near Water Training Swimming/Wading Suspected Suicide Attempt Surf Boat Crew Scuba/Skin Diving Sailing Rock Walking Rock Fishing Patrolling on Beach Patrolling in Motorised Watercraft Patrolling in 4WD Other Junior Activities Competition IRB Competition Carnival Officiating Attempting a Rescue

Figure 44

2010–15: ACTIVITY WHEN INJURED (n=16,828) Most people were injured when swimming or wading. Using surfcraft, participating in junior activities or training also accounted for a higher proportion of incidents. Body boarding

SECTION ONE

activity is more likely to result in neurological or open wound injuries. The use of IRBs or personal watercraft (PWC) is more likely to result in open wounds or soft tissue injuries.

29

COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


D R O W N I N G A N A LY S I S SECTION T WO

89%

130 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

MALE

11%

FEMALE

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

Rip Currents

14%

Medical Condition or Injury

29%

Alcohol/Drugs

17%


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

No COD Listed

0.60

COD Listed

120 Number (n)

113 90

89

96

0.54

118 105

102 89

88

85

0.42

30

0

0.48

84

69

60

130

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

150

0.36

2004–05

2005–06

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

0.30

Figure 45

2004–16: 12-YEAR TREND OF NATIONAL COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS National coastal drowning death numbers and crude drowning rates 2004–16 are illustrated above. The 12-year average rate per 100,000 population is 0.44 and number is 97, the rate for 2015-16 is 0.54 and number is 130.

0.20

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.18 0.16 0.14 0.12

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

0.10 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0.00 2004–05

2005–06

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Figure 46

2004–16: 12-YEAR COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY The national rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur varies over time. The 2015–16 rate for rock fishing is the only activity below the 12-year average (0.05 vs. 0.06 average rate per 100,000 pop.). All other activity rates are above the 12-year average rate. ‘Other’ activities include hang gliding, jumping into water and unintentional falls.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

32

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


1.4

Crude Drowning Rate per 100,000

50

1.2

Crude Drowning Deaths (n)

1.0

Number (n)

40

0.8 30 0.6 20

0.4

10

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

60

0.2

0

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

NT

0.0

Figure 47

2015–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY STATE (n=130) Of the 130 coastal drowning deaths, 53 (41%) occurred in NSW, 22 (17%) in Vic, 20 (15%) in both Qld and WA, eight (6%) in SA, four (3%) in Tas and three (2%) in NT.

0.07

Female

14

0.06

Male

Number (n)

12

0.05

10

0.04

8 0.03 6 0.02

4

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

Figure 48

2015–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY AGE GROUP AND SEX (n=130) The age group representing the highest rate of fatalities is 25–29 years (n=15, 0.06 rate per 100,000 pop.). One hundred and sixteen fatalities (89%) were male.

SECTION T WO

33

DROWNING ANALYSIS

85+ unknown

0

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

16


N AT I O N A L O V E R V I E W

5%

4%

4% 2% 1%

2%

5%

30%

19%

6% 8%

8%

30% Swimming/ Wading 9%

23%

48%

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

48%

Beach 26%

Beach Offshore Rock/Cliff Bay Jetty Marina

Figure 49

Figure 50

2015–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=130)

2015–16: LOCATION OF COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS (n=130)

The majority of coastal drowning deaths occurred when an individual was participating in swimming or wading (n=39), boating (n=30), rock fishing (n=12), using non-powered watercraft (n=11) or snorkelling (n=10).

The majority of coastal drowning deaths occurred at a beach (n=63), offshore (n=34) or at rock/cliff locations (n=25). The percentages illustrate a decrease in beach (48% from 56%) and rock/cliff locations (19% from 22%) and an increase in offshore locations (26% from 16%) when compared to last year 2014–15.

BLACKSPOTS A blackspot is an area with a concentration of coastal/ocean incidents and a high probability/risk of ongoing recurrence. SLSA has identified the local government areas (LGAs) listed below as blackspots and has distributed funding to projects in these areas (2014–16). These LGAs are priorities for conducting coastal risk assessments and implementing drowning prevention activities via the Beach Drowning Blackspot Reduction Program.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

New South Wales: Byron Shire, City of Coffs Harbour, City of Randwick, City of Wollongong, Sutherland Shire, Warringah, Waverley, Wyong Shire Northern Territory: City of Darwin Queensland: Cairns Region, City of Gold Coast, City of Townsville, Gladstone Region, Noosa Shire, Redland City, Sunshine Coast South Australia: Alexandrina Council, City of Victor Harbor, District Council of Grant District Council of Robe, District Council of Yankalilla, Wattle Range Council Tasmania: Circular Head Council, City of Clarence, Huon Valley Council Victoria: Mornington Peninsula Shire, Surf Coast Shire Western Australia: City of Stirling, City of Wanneroo

34

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


20

12 10

Percentage (%)

Percentage (%)

15

10

8 6 4

5

11:01pm-12am

10:01pm-11pm

8:01pm-9pm

9:01pm-10pm

7:01pm-8pm

6:01pm-7pm

5:01pm-6pm

4:01pm-5pm

3:01pm-4pm

2:01pm-3pm

1:01pm-2pm

12:01pm-1pm

10:01am-11am

11:01am-12pm

8:01am-9am

9:01am-10am

7:01am-8am

6:01am-7am

5:01am-6am

4:01am-5am

3:01am-4am

2:01am-3am

1:01am-2am

12:01am-1 am

0

June

May

April

March

February

January

December

November

October

September

August

0

July

2

Figure 51

Figure 52

2015–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY MONTH (n=130)

2015–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY TIME (n=108)*

The highest percentage of coastal drowning deaths occurred in the month of January (n=23), followed by March (n=18) and February (n=13). Sixty-three percent occurred outside of the summer months. Shading denotes season.

There are currently 108 coastal drowning deaths (83%) with known times. Most of these fatalities occurred between 1:01pm and 4pm (n=29). * Only incidents with known times are represented.

5% 10%

22%

33%

42%

19%

Less than 1km 37%

33%

42%

10km to 50km

Less than 1km Greater than 5km 1km to 5km

32%

10km to 50km Greater than 50km Less than 10km International Unknown

Figure 53

Figure 54

2015–16: DISTANCE FROM DROWNING LOCATION TO A LIFESAVING SERVICE (n=130)

2015–16: DISTANCE FROM RESIDENCE TO DROWNING LOCATION (n=130)

Fifty-four individuals drowned within 1km of the nearest Surf Life Saving club. Of these, only 33% occurred during patrolled seasons and/or times.

Forty-three individuals lived between 10km and 50km from the drowning location, and 13 coastal drowning deaths involved international tourists.

SECTION T WO

35

DROWNING ANALYSIS


3 2 2 2

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

2

2 0 0 4 –16

2

2

2 2

2 5

169 169

2

4

2

2 2

2

2

3

4 3

2

PERTH 3

Figure 55 2 2 3

3

2

3

2004–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY

5

2

2 2

2 2 2

5

KEY TO DROWNING ACTIVITY

2

3

0

Attempting a Rescue Boating Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Related Snorkelling Swimming/Wading Watercraft Other Unknown Multiple instances per activity at the same location SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

1,000km

SCALE

36

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016

DARWIN


N

2 6 2

2

24

2 4 2

192 2

3 2 2 2

3 2

2 5 2 8

2

4 2 2 2 8

2

459

2 2

2 8 2 3 2

ADELAIDE

3

7

2

2 2 2

CANBERRA

MELBOURNE

2 5

2

2 4 2 5 2

3 2

2

2 5

2 2

2

2

2 2 2 4 3 3 2 2

2

HOBART 2 2

3 3

2

3

2 2 3 3

8 4 2

2 4 2

2 2

11 2 3 3 2 5 5 7 2 2 13 9 6 7 3 3 2 19 6 4 4 2 2 9 9 4 2

4 4 11 4 2 5

8 3 2 5 3 4 2 2 2 4 3

2

3 2 3 3

55

2 3 2 2 2

2

SYDNEY

179

2 3

2

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

4

2

2 3

3

2

2 5

2

2

7 2 3

BRISBANE

90

3 2

8 17 4 2 8 2 4 4

2


NEW SOUTH WALE S

60

0.8

50

53 0.7

39 35

30

40

0.5

37

35 29

0.4

29

0.3

23

20

0.2 10

8%

2%

30% Swimming/Wading Rock Fishing Boating Watercraft Rock/Cliff Related Snorkelling Attempting Rescue Diving Other Unknown

Swimming/ Wading 9%

19% 9%

2015–16

2014–15

2013–14

2011–12

2012–13

2010–11

4%

30%

9%

0.0 2009-10

2007-08

2008–09

2005–06

2006–07

0.1 2004–05

0

6%

0.6

46

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

40 Number (n)

48

45

4%

Figure 56

Figure 57

2004–16: 12-YEAR TREND OF NEW SOUTH WALES COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2015–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=53)

In 2015–16, there were 53 coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.69 per 100,000 population in New South Wales (NSW). From 2004 to 2016, there has been an average number of 38 coastal drowning deaths per year, which is an 12-year average rate of 0.53 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in NSW occurred when an individual was participating in swimming/wading (n=16, 30%), rock fishing (n=10, 19%), boating (n=5, 9%), using watercraft (n=5, 9%) or a rock/cliff-related activity other than rock fishing (n=5, 9%).

0.30

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.25 0.20 Swimming/Wading Rock Fishing Boating Watercraft Attempting a Rescue Diving Rock/Cliff Related Other Snorkelling Unknown

0.15 0.10 0.05 0.00 2004–05

2005–06

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Figure 58

2004–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in NSW. In 2015–16, there were 53 coastal drowning deaths. All known activity incident rates are above the 12-year averages in NSW this year.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

38

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS 2 5 2

2 4 2 2 2 8

2 3 2 2

4 2

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

2 8 2 4 4

53

2

11 2 3 3 2 5 5 7 2 2 13 9 6 7 3 3 2 19 6 4 4 2 2 9 9 4 2

4 4 11 4 2 5

3 3 4 2 2 2

2

FATALITY RATE

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

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

PER 100,000 POPULATION

YEARS OF AGE

92% 8% MALE

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

38

0.53

FEMALE

PER 100,000 POPULATION

LOCATION

ACTIVITY 10%

11% 2%

3% 3%

33%

3% 4% 5% 8%

SWIMMING/WADING

0.69 60-64

8 4 2

2

30%

COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

4

3 2 2 2

2

SYDNEY

AVERAGE NUMBER

4

2015–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

33% SWIMMING

9%

21%

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

34%

53% BEACH

49%

SECTION SECTION ONE

53%

39

LESS THAN 1KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB

SECTION NAME COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y

Beach Rocks/Cliff Offshore Bay


QUEENSLAND

30

0.6

25

0.5

5%

5%

Number (n)

20 18

17

15

17

0.4 0.3

15 13

12

11

10

16

20

0.2 9

15%

35%

35% 20%

Swimming/Wading Boating Watercraft Snorkelling Diving Unknown

Swimming/ Wading 20%

2015–16

2014–15

2013–14

2011–12

2012–13

2010–11

2009–10

2005–06

2007–08

0.0

2008–09

0

2006–07

0.1

2004–05

5

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

24 20

Figure 59

Figure 60

2004–16: 12-YEAR TREND OF QUEENSLAND COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2015–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=20)

In 2015–16, there were 20 coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.41 per 100,000 population in Queensland (Qld). From 2004 to 2016, there has been an average number of 16 coastal drowning deaths per year, which is an average rate of 0.36 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in Qld occurred when an individual was swimming and wading (n=7, 35%), boating or using watercraft (each n=4, 20%).

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.25

0.20

0.15

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

0.10

0.05

0.00 2004– 05

2005– 06

2006– 07

2007– 08

2008– 09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Figure 61

2004–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in Qld. In 2015–16, there were 20 coastal drowning deaths. All known activity rates are greater than the 12-year averages except for those that did not

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

occur this year. There were no incidents related to attempting a rescue, rock fishing or rock/cliff-related activities other than fishing in 2015–16.

40

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2 2

2015–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

35%

COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

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

20

SWIMMING/WADING

FATALITY RATE

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

PER 100,000 POPULATION

YEARS OF AGE

0.41 35-44

6 2

90% 10%

2 2 4 2

MALE

FEMALE 2

3 2

LOCATION

2

7 2 3

2 2

5%

3 2

BRISBANE 2 5 2 8

3 2

2

3 8 17 2

35%

AVERAGE NUMBER

16

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

0.36

60% BEACH

PER 100,000 POPULATION

Beach Offshore Rocks/Cliff

20%

SECTION SECTION ONE

60%

41

GREATER THAN 5KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB

SECTION NAME COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


VICTORIA

25

0.45 22

20

0.35

19 Number (n)

0.30

17

15

15

15

14

11

10

11

0.25

12

0.20 10

9%

0.40

10

0.15 0.10

5

9% Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

23

36%

36%

9%

Boating Boating Swimming/Wading Diving Snorkelling Attempting a Rescue

36%

2015–16

2014–15

2013–14

2011–12

2012–13

2010–11

0.00 2009–10

2007–08

2008–09

2006–07

2005–06

0

2004–05

0.05

Figure 62

Figure 63

2004–16: 12-YEAR TREND OF VICTORIAN COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2015–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=22)

In 2015–16, there were 22 coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.36 per 100,000 population in Victoria (Vic). From 2004 to 2016, there has been an average number of 15 coastal drowning deaths per year, which is an average rate of 0.27 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in Vic occurred when an individual was boating or swimming/wading (each n=8, 36%).

0.16

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.14 0.12 0.10

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

0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0.00 2004– 05

2005– 06

2006– 07

2007– 08

2008– 09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Figure 64

2004–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in Vic. In 2015–16, there were 22 coastal drowning deaths. All known activity rates are

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

greater than the 12-year average except for those that did not occur this year. There were no incidents related to watercraft or rock/cliff-related activities, including rock fishing, in 2015–16.

42

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2015–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

36%

COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS MELBOURNE 2 4 2 5 3 2

2

22

2 8 3 2 5 3 4 2 2 2 4 3 2

2

5

2

2

2 2

2 2 4 3 3 2 2

2

AVERAGE NUMBER

FATALITY RATE

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

PER 100,000 POPULATION

YEARS OF AGE

0.36

3

2 2 3 3

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

MALE

0.27

FEMALE

PER 100,000 POPULATION

LOCATION

ACTIVITY

5%

14% 2% 3%

30% 7%

5%

30%

4%

6%

SWIMMING

23% 7%

23%

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

41%

41% BEACH

27%

50%

25–29 & 50–54

77% 23%

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

15

5%

BOATING

SECTION SECTION ONE

43

LESS THAN 1KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB

SECTION NAME COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y

Beach Offshore Bay Rocks/Cliff Marina


WESTERN AUSTR ALIA

30

1.0

10%

0.9 24

Number (n)

20

20 16

15

17 15 12

10

11

10

0.7 0.6 0.5

15

0.4

11

5%

0.8

10

0.3

8

0.2

5

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

25

5%

5%

Boating Swimming/Wading Rock/Cliff Related Rock Fishing Watercraft Diving Snorkelling Other

Boating

2015–16

2014–15

2013–14

2011–12

2012–13

2010–11

0.0 2009–10

2007–08

2008–09

2006–07

2005–06

2004–05

40%

10%

0.1 0

40%

5%

20%

Figure 65

Figure 66

2004–16: 12-YEAR TREND OF WESTERN AUSTRALIAN COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2015–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=20)

In 2015–16, there were 20 coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.77 per 100,000 population in Western Australia (WA). From 2004 to 2016, there has been an average number of 14 coastal drowning deaths per year, which is an average rate of 0.60 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in WA occurred when an individual was boating (n=8, 40%), swimming/wading (n=4, 20%) or a rock/cliff-related activity other than rock fishing (n=2, 10%). ‘Other’ activities (n=2) include intentionally jumping in to retrieve a ball and hang gliding.

0.40

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.35 0.30 0.25

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

0.20 0.15 0.10 0.05 0.00 2004– 05

2005– 06

2006– 07

2007– 08

2008– 09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Figure 67

2004–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in WA. In 2015–16, there were 20 coastal drowning deaths. Activities that have a rate greater than the 12-year average are boating (0.31 vs. 0.08 average rate per 100,000 pop.), rock /cliff related other than rock

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

fishing (0.08 vs. 0.04 average rate per 100,000 pop.), and scuba diving (0.04 vs. 0.03 average rate per 100,000 pop.). Swimming/ wading rates are equal to the 12-year average (0.15 per 100,000 pop.). There were no incidents related to attempting a rescue in WA during 2015–16.

44

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2

2015–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

40%

COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

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

20

BOATING

FATALITY RATE

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

PER 100,000 POPULATION

YEARS OF AGE

0.77 25-29

2

2 2

95% 5%

2 5

2

4

MALE

2

FEMALE 2 2

2

LOCATION

2

3

4 3

2

3

5%

3

2

3

2 2 3

5

PERTH 2

2

2 2 2

15%

2

45%

5

45%

3

BEACH

AVERAGE NUMBER

14

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

0.60

35%

70%

PER 100,000 POPULATION

SECTION SECTION ONE

45

Offshore Beach Rocks/Cliff Jetty

GREATER THAN 5KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB

SECTION NAME COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


SOUTH AUSTR ALIA

14

0.9 13

12

12%

0.8

12

9

8

0.6

9 8

0.5 0.4

6

0.3

4

4

0.2

3

2

12%

50%

0.1

25%

50%

Swimming/ Wading Swimming/Wading Boating Watercraft Rock/Cliff Related

2015–16

2014–15

2013–14

2011–12

2012–13

0.0 2010–11

2007–08

2008–09

2005–06

2006–07

2 2004–05

0

7

7

6

2009–10

Number (n)

10

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.7 10

Figure 68

Figure 69

2004–16: 12-YEAR TREND OF SOUTH AUSTRALIAN COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2015–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY (n=8)

In 2015–16, there were eight coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.47 per 100,000 population in South Australia (SA). From 2004 to 2016, there has been an average number of eight coastal drowning deaths per year, which is an average rate of 0.44 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in SA occurred when an individual was swimming/wading (n=4, 50%) or boating (n=2, 25%).

0.45

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.40 0.35 0.30 Swimming/Wading Boating Watercraft Rock/Cliff Related Other Diving Snorkelling Attempting a Rescue Rock Fishing Unknown

0.25 0.20 0.15 0.10 0.05 0.00 2004– 05

2005– 06

2006– 07

2007– 08

2008– 09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Figure 70

2004–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in SA. In 2015–16, there were eight coastal drowning deaths. Activities that have a rate greater than the 12-year average are swimming/wading (0.23 vs. 0.17 average rate per 100,000 pop.), rock/cliff-related activities other than rock fishing (0.06 vs. 0.03 average rate per

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

100,000 pop.) and using watercraft (0.06 vs. 0.03 average rate per 100,000 pop.). The boating rate is the same as the 12-year average (0.12 rate per 100,000 pop.). There were no incidents related to scuba diving, snorkelling, attempting a rescue, or rock fishing activities in SA in 2015–16.

46

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2015–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

50%

COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

8

2

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

AVERAGE NUMBER

8

FATALITY RATE

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

PER 100,000 POPULATION

YEARS OF AGE

0.47

2 2

SWIMMING/WADING

2 8 2

10–14 & 40–44

3 2

ADELAIDE

3

7

2

2 3

88% 12%

2 2 2

2 5

MALE

2 2

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

FEMALE

0.44

PER 100,000 POPULATION

LOCATION

ACTIVITY

12% 5%

4%

1% 2%

5% 7% 7%

36% SWIMMING 30%

25%

36% Swimming/Wading Boating Watercraft Rock/Cliff Related Other Diving Attempting a Rescue Snorkelling Rock Fishing Unknown

SECTION SECTION ONE

63%

63%

BEACH

Beach Offshore Rocks/Cliff

38% 47

GREATER THAN 5KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB

SECTION NAME COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


TA S M A N I A

9

1.8 8

1.6

8

7

1.4

6

1.2

5

5

5

5

1.0

5

4

4

3

4

4

0.6

3

2

2

0.4

2

0.2

1 0

0.8

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

Number (n)

8

2004–05

2005–06

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

0.0

Figure 71

2004–16: 12-YEAR TREND OF TASMANIAN COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS deaths per year, which is an average rate of 0.91 per 100,000 population.

In 2015–16, there were four coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.77 per 100,000 population in Tasmania (Tas). From 2004 to 2016, there has been an average number of five coastal drowning

1.2

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

1.0 0.8 Boating Swimming/Wading Rock Fishing Diving Watercraft Other Rock/Cliff Related Snorkelling Attempting a Rescue Unknown

0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 2004– 05

2005– 06

2006– 07

2007– 08

2008– 09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Figure 72

2004–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in Tas. In 2015–16, there were four coastal drowning deaths. Activities that have a rate greater than the 12-year averages are boating (0.39 vs. 0.35 average rate per 100,000 pop.), rock fishing (0.19 vs. 0.12 average

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

rate per 100,000 pop.) and attempting a rescue (0.19 vs. 0.03 average rate per 100,000 pop.). There were no incidents related to swimming/wading, scuba diving, watercraft, snorkelling or rock/cliff-related activities other than rock fishing in Tas in 2015–16.

48

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2

HOBART 2 2

2

3 2 3 3

2

AVERAGE NUMBER

2015–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

4

BOATING

FATALITY RATE

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

PER 100,000 POPULATION

YEARS OF AGE

0.77 40-44

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

5

50%

COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

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

0.91

PER 100,000 POPULATION

75% 25%

ACTIVITY

MALE 9% 2%

4% 4%

FEMALE

38%

5%

38%

7% 7%

BOATING

9%

15%

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

LOCATION

25%

50%

50%

OFFSHORE

25% Offshore Beach Rocks/Cliff

75%

SECTION SECTION ONE

49

GREATER THAN 5KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB

SECTION NAME COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


NORTHERN TERRITORY

6

3.0 6 2.5

4

4

2.0

4

3

3

2 1 0

1 0 2004–05

1.0

2

2

0.5

1

1

2009–10

2010–11

0

0 2005–06

2006–07

2007–08

2008–09

1.5

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

Number (n)

5

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

0.0

Figure 73

2004–16: 12-YEAR TREND OF NORTHERN TERRITORY COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS In 2015-16, there were three coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 1.23 per 100,000 population in Northern Territory (NT). From 2004 to 2016, there has been an average number of two coastal

drowning deaths per year, which is an average rate of 0.87 per 100,000 population.

1.4

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

1.2 1.0 Boating Swimming/Wading Attempting a Rescue Other Rock/Cliff Related Diving Rock Fishing Snorkelling Watercraft Unknown

0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 2004– 05

2005– 06

2006– 07

2007– 08

2008– 09

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

2012–13

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Figure 74

2004–16: COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS BY ACTIVITY The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in NT. In 2015–16, there were three coastal drowning deaths. The boating activity rate is greater than the 12-year average (0.41 vs. 0.19 average rate per 100,000 pop.). The ‘other’ activity includes jumping into water

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

while intoxicated. There were no incidents related to swimming/ wading, attempting a rescue, rock/cliff-related activities including rock fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling or watercraft in NT in 2015–16.

50

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


DROWNING SNAPSHOT

2004–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2015–16 COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

2 2 2

33%

COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

3

DARWIN

3

2

BOATING

FATALITY RATE

KEY DEMOGRAPHIC

PER 100,000 POPULATION

YEARS OF AGE

1.23 35-39 2

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

100% 0% MALE

FEMALE AVERAGE NUMBER

AVERAGE FATALITY RATE

2

0.87

LOCATION

PER 100,000 POPULATION

ACTIVITY 33% 21%

21%

33%

33%

OFFSHORE

13%

21% BOATING

13% 17%

17%

Offshore Beach Jetty

33% Boating Swimming/Wading Other Attempting a Rescue Rock/Cliff Related Unknown

SECTION SECTION ONE

67% 51

GREATER THAN 5KM FROM A SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB

SECTION NAME COMMUNIT Y AND CAPABILIT Y


GLOSSARY

Diving - Engaging in recreational or commercial SCUBA diving. 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). 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.

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. 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.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

52

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


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 2015 to June 2016. Snorkelling - Swimming with a snorkel and face mask. Support operations - Rapid response rescue units, not affiliated to any specific surf life saving club. 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 - An 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 Australia’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.

Lifejacket - A buoyant or inflatable garment or device designed to keep a person afloat in water and increase their likelihood of survival. 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 3n 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. 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 person’s airway, breathing and circulation. 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 watercraft—sometimes called a personal watercraft (PWC).

53

GLOSSARY GLOSSARY


REFERENCE

METHODOLOGY

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 support services during 2015–16; and how many active surf lifesavers and award holders there were during 2015–16. 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.

The National Coastal Safety Report 2016 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 2015 to 30 June 2016. This information is correct as of 1 October 2016. 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.

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/ocean locations, or ‘drowning/immersion’ is not a contributory factor as noted by the coroner.

THE AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY ANALYSIS Information about community swimming ability, behaviours and attitudes to coastal safety was gathered from the SLSA National Coastal Safety Survey. Conducted by Omnipoll Market Research, the latest survey was run online over the period 8–13 April 2016 among a national sample of 1,431 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. IPSOS SOCIAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE RESEARCH The Ipsos Social Research Institute Swimming and Wading Report 2016 was a result of a qualitative and quantitative research component. Both phases covered similar topic areas: swimming attitudes and behaviours; risk perceptions and strategies; rip current identification and safety; information needs and sources; and interventions. The qualitative research findings helped to shape the subsequent questionnaire used in the quantitative stage. The quantitative phase was carried out from 6–27 November 2015. This component comprised an online survey of 1,094 swimmers and waders, followed by comprehensive analysis of the data. Given the geographic spread of the Australian coastline, Ipsos SRI used a representative sample of Australian swimmers and waders, involving the application of non-interlocking quotas according to these demographic characteristics: gender, age, state and area. Weighting was then applied to the sample to ensure the representativeness of the data was maintained.

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 62% of 2015–16 coastal drowning deaths reported remain open cases and 25% of cases do not have a cause of death (COD) listed yet. Once a closure occurs to NCIS cases we can modify those with unknown intent and those where the cause of death is not drowning if necessary. 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 45. 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 Data Sources SurfGuard, the Incident Report database (IRD) and SurfCom management system (SurfCom) are web-based applications

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTR ALIA

54

NATIONAL COASTAL SAFET Y REPORT 2016


System Sciences, 13, 1687–1690, 2013. Ipsos Social Research Institute (2016) Swimming and Wading Report 2016. Ipsos: Sydney. New Zealand, Ministry for the Environment (1991). Resource Management Act 1991, viewed on 20 October 2015, http:// www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1991/0069/latest/ DLM230265.html?search=ts_act_Resource+Management+Act_ resel&p=1&sr=1. Short, AD (2003). ‘Australia Beach Systems: The morphodynamics of wave through tide-dominated beach-dune systems’. Journal of Coastal Research SI 35, 7–20. SLSA National Coastal Safety Survey (2014, 2015, 2016). Newspoll/Omnipoll Online Omnibus April 2014, 2015, 2016. SLSA Annual Reports .

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 also chosen to increase the offshore inclusion zone for coastal locations to include those up to 3n mi rather than 2n mi. This decision has been made to align with Geoscience Australia’s maritime boundary definitions.

Table 1

CHANGES IN THE NUMBER OF COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED 2012 NCSR

2013 NCSR

2014 NCSR

2015 NCSR

2016 NCSR

2004–05

89

89

89

89

89

2005–06

95

95

95

95

96

2006–07

98

98

98

98

102

2007–08

89

89

89

89

89

2008–09

89

89

89

89

88

2009–10

83

85

85

85

85

2010–11

70

72

69

69

69

2011–12

119

115

113

113

113

121

118

118

118

84

83

84

102

105

2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS SLSA wishes to thank the following people and organisations for their contribution to the National Coastal Safety Report 2016: the Australian Government: Department of Health; the Australian Lifeguard Service; Edith Cowan University, David Reid; Ipsos Social Research Institute: Stuart Clark, Julie Denney and David Elliot; Suzanne Keating; National Coronial Information System; Omnipoll, Frederic Anne; Royal Life Saving Society Australia: Amy Peden and Alison Mahony; SLS state centres, branches, clubs and support operations; SLSA Research Advisory Committee; and SLSA major national corporate partners: DHL and Westpac.

130

CONTACT INFORMATION

SUGGESTED CITATION: Surf Life Saving Australia (2016) National Coastal Safety Report 2016. SLSA: Sydney.

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.

REFERENCES Australian Water Safety Council (2016). Australian Water Safety Strategy 2016–20. Australian Water Safety Council: Sydney. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015, Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014–15 cat. no. 3218.0, viewed 30 September 2016, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3218.0. Bradstreet, A, R Brander, JR McCaroll, B Brighton, HD Dominey, D Drozdzewski, S Sherker, I Turner, A Roberts, and J MacMahan (2014). ‘Rip Current Survival Principles: Towards Consistency’. Proceedings, 3rd International Rip Current Symposium (Busan, Republic of Korea). Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, 72, 85–92. Brander, R, D Dominey-Howes, C Champion, O Del Vecchio, B Brighton (2013). ‘Brief Communication: A new perspective on the Australian Rip Current Hazard’. Natural Hazards and Earth

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—surflifesavingwa.com.au

55

REFERENCE METHODOLOGY


DROWNING SNAPSHOT

COASTAL DROWNING DEATHS

MALE

FEMALE Location

Contributing Factors

29% 17% 14% AT THE BEACH

AT LEAST 5KM FROM A LIFESAVING SERVICE

MEDICAL CONDITION OR INJURY

ALCOHOL/ DRUGS

RIP CURRENTS

Activity

30% SWIMMING

9% ROCK FISHING

23% BOATING

8%

WATERCRAFT

3 20

20

8 22

53 4


National Coastal Safety Report 2016