Page 1

Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014


National Drowning Snapshot

Contents

2013-14

84

COASTAL

DROWNING DEATHS

89 % MALE

11%

Introduction

National Safety Agenda

04

05

FEMALE Section 01 Community and Capability

Location

38%

Contributory Factors

51%

BEACH

5KM FROM A LIFESAVING SERVICE

06

15%

24%

14%

RIP CURRENTS

MEDICAL CONDITION OR INJURY

ALCOHOL/ DRUGS

Coastal Visitation

Risk Perception

Membership Capacity

08

12

18

Case Study: Dangerous Surf Warnings

Swimming Ability

Case Study: Mid-week Drowning

09

13

19

Activity Participation

Capability

Rescues

10

14

20

State/Territory

Section 02 Drowning Analysis Activity

4 9

15

7

Swimming

23%

24

Boating

18%

30

15

Rock Fishing

4

14%

National Overview

Victoria

Northern Territory

26

36

44

2004-14: Drowning Location Map

Western Australia

30

38

Australian Water Safety Strategy 2020 Goal

New South Wales

South Australia

32

40

Queensland

Tasmania

34

42

46 Case Study: RIPSAFE Project

47

Watercraft

8%

Glossary

Reference

48

50


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

04

Introduction

A

ustralians have an affinity with our coastlines. We are drawn to them to participate in an ever-growing array of activities, and all too often people succumb to their hidden hazards. An estimated 100 million visitations occur on our coastlines annually. The coast is an inherently hazardous aquatic environment. Even in benign ocean conditions, the water poses a significant risk to the uninformed or unprepared visitor. Providing a reliable safety service to meet the community’s needs has been the role of Surf Life Saving for more than 100 years. As the peak water safety, drowning prevention and rescue authority, Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) aims to create great Australians, build better communities, and continue our primary mission of saving lives. This National Coastal Safety Report 2014 contains a detailed analysis of the Australian coastal safety context for the period of 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. Now in its tenth edition, the National Coastal Safety Report 2014 for the first time provides a holistic perspective of SLSA’s approach to drowning prevention under the Total Service Plan and the National Safety Agenda. While the report still incorporates analysis of coastal drownings, it recognises that drowning is only part of the analysis that guides good decision making for coastal safety. The report provides contextual information on the Australian community and how they interact with the coast. This information is crucial to understanding how Surf Life Saving may need to adapt to continue servicing community needs.

The report also defines Surf Life Saving’s current capability and capacity. It details the services and resources, and their activities to prevent and respond to coastal and aquatic emergencies. Finally, the report describes how Surf Life Saving employs our analysis to deliver evidence-based drowning prevention initiatives, including our Beach Drowning Blackspot Reduction Program. Case studies throughout the report demonstrate our commitment to using scarce resources to achieve the greatest reduction in drowning and the best return on investment for government, corporate partners and donors across the community, including our dedicated fundraisers, the Guardians of the Surf. Despite the extensive network of lifesavers, lifeguards, support operations and allied emergency services deployed nationally, 84 people drowned. Every one of these lives lost is one too many. Surf Life Saving renews our commitment to the reduction of coastal drowning by 50% by 2020. This will only be achievable with a coordinated strategy requiring commitment, collaboration and a willingness to take evidence-based risks. I commend this report to you as a critical component in the process to reduce coastal drowning deaths across Australia.

Greg Nance Chief Executive Officer

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

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

Introduction

05

National Safety Agenda

T

he National Safety Agenda is determined by the Total Service Plan, which is the overall national strategy document and service plan for SLSA. The Total Service Plan is created using an iterative process of analysis and review to identify coastal safety issues of national importance. It follows the public health model and is consistent with international risk management principles. In collaboration with stakeholders, SLSA identifies coastal safety risks via incident monitoring, coastal risk assessments and participation analysis. This information is analysed using trend and target identification, GIS plotting and critical incident analysis to identify the top national coastal safety issues, priorities and blackspots that require intervention or mitigation strategies. The issues and blackspots identified through this process form the basis of SLSA’s National Safety Agenda. The National Safety Agenda influences lifesaving operations, including services and equipment allocation, and drives public education, including evidence-based mitigation strategies, communications campaigns and pilot projects. 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 Communication and Consultation management approach which allows Market Research SLSA to use the evidence to ensure Stakeholder Consultation we locate our lifesaving services and Councils, Committees and Groups assets in areas of need and have in place Conferences and appropriate public education programs Forums and mitigation strategies to address the coastal safety issues and known blackspots. The coastal safety needs of the Australian community identified in the National Safety Agenda and the Surf Life Saving movement’s capacity and capability to meet these needs are explored in the following section ‘Community and Capability’.

National Safety Agenda Issues 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Rip Currents Boating Rock Fishing Watercraft Toxicity and Health

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

Figure 1

Total Service Plan Process Overview The Total Service Plan aligns with the International Standard ISO 31000:2009 framework which provides principles and guidelines for risk management.

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

Coastal Safety Hub

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

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

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


Section 01 Community and Capability 11,711 47,080 RESCUES PATROLLING MEMBERS

1,200,000 VOLUNTEER PATROL HOURS

859

311

980

IRBs

Clubs

Helicopter Missions


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

08

Coastal Visitation

Case Study Dangerous Surf Warnings

Watercraft 1%1% 2% Surfing 1% 2%

3%

3%

Snorkelling or 1% 2% Scuba Diving

4%

3%

4%

3%

9%

Boating 1%

3%

10%

2%

Total - 13% Total - 18%

5%

6%

0

Total - 13%

7%

Land-based or 1% Rock Fishing

Swimming

5+ Times per Week 1-4 Times per Week 1-3 Times per Month 3-11 Times per Year Less Often

Total - 9%

3%

Total - 21%

7%

9%

24%

10%

20%

Total - 51%

11%

30%

40%

50%

60%

Figure 2

2013-14: 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? At least half of the Australian population visit the coast at least once per year, and swimming is the most popular coastal activity. One in five people participate in boating at least once a year, making it the second most popular activity.

100%

2%

3% 19%

80%

2%

2%

30%

26%

6%

11%

1%

3% 22%

26%

49%

60%

24%

35%

40%

50%

52%

27%

Can’t Say Less Often 30 mins -1 Hour 1.5-9 Hours 10+ Hours

25%

33%

28%

18%

20%

Surfing

Watercraft

34%

20% 17%

0%

9%

12%

9%

5%

Swimming

Boating

Land-based or Rock Fishing

Snorkelling or Scuba Diving

Figure 3

2013-14: Activity Participation per Month Question: How often do you participate in these activities? On a typical day, when you participate in these activities, how many hours do you spend? A higher proportion of watercraft users (20%) spend 10 or more hours per month in the water than other activity participants, these are closely followed by surfers and bodyboarders (18%). However, at least half of fishers (52%) and boaters (50%) spend 1.5-9 hours per month fishing or boating. Snorkellers and scuba divers are the least frequent participants with 49% participating less than 1 hour per month. Reference: SLSA National Coastal Safety Survey 2014

Enhancing early warning of hazardous conditions is a key feature of the Surf Life Saving Total Service Plan. By providing warnings to the community during periods of heightened risk individuals are better informed to make decisions regarding their activities and to alter their behaviour accordingly to manage their risk exposure. The Bureau of Meteorology has led the development of dangerous surf warnings in New South Wales supported by Surf Life Saving New South Wales and several other stakeholder groups including Roads and Maritime Services and the Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW. In the 2013-14 season, during 50% of the periods when dangerous surf warnings were issued in New South Wales one person drowned. This figure highlights the importance of this program. A clear need has been identified to continue enhancing and improving the dangerous surf warning system to better inform beachgoers of the prevailing risks at various locations along the coast.


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

Community and Capability

10

Activity Participation

Total Male Female 16-24 25-34 35-49 50+ NSW/ACT QLD VIC WA SA TAS NT

Section 01

51% 52% 49% 68% 58% 48% 39% 54% 53% 45% 48% 51% 45% 34%

Total Male Female 16-24 25-34 35-49 50+ NSW/ACT QLD VIC WA SA TAS NT

21% 27% 16% 24% 20% 22% 20% 25% 22% 19% 20% 13% 21% 34%

11

Total Male Female 16-24 25-34 35-49 50+ NSW/ACT QLD VIC WA SA TAS NT

Swimming

13% 13% 13% 19% 16% 12% 9% 14% 14%

Boating

14%

3.5 million boaters 0.8 million frequent boaters (at least once a month) 49 boating hours per boater per year

10% 11% 8% 15%

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 8

2013-14: Swimming Participation

2013-14: Boating Participation

2013-14: Snorkelling and Diving Participation

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? At least half of the Australian population swim at beaches and coastal areas. A higher proportion of men (52%) than women (49%) swim in the ocean. Young people, 16-24 year olds, have the highest participants (68%). NSW/ACT (54%) and Queensland (53%) are higher than the national average while Northern Territory (NT) (34%) is significantly lower.

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? One-fifth of Australians participate in boating, although it is more popular with men (27%) than women (16%). NT has the highest participation (34%) followed by NSW/ACT (25%).

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? Men and women snorkel and scuba dive in equal proportions (13%). Northern Territory has the highest participation (15%) while Tasmania has the lowest (8%).

Total Male Female 16-24 25-34 35-49 50+ NSW/ACT QLD VIC WA SA TAS NT

Total Male Female 16-24 25-34 35-49 50+ NSW/ACT QLD VIC WA SA TAS NT

18% 23% 14% 18% 22% 18% 16% 18% 20% 16% 17% 20% 48% 9%

Fishing 3 million fishers 0.9 million frequent fishers (at least once a month) 58 fishing hours per fisher per year

Surfing 13% 16% 10% 20% 13% 13% 9% 16% 13% 11% 10% 12% 5% 3%

Total Male Female 16-24 25-34 35-49 50+ NSW/ACT QLD VIC WA SA TAS NT

2.1 million surfers 0.9 million frequent surfers (at least once a month) 117 surfing hours per surfer per year

9% 11% 8% 13% 13% 8% 6%

Snorkelling and Scuba Diving

10% 8% 9% 9% 6% 16%

2.1 million snorkellers and divers 0.4 million frequent snorkellers and divers (at least once a month) 30 snorkelling and diving hours per snorkeller/ diver per year

7%

Figure 6

Figure 7

Figure 9

2013-14: Land-based and Rock Fishing Participation

2013-14: Surfing Participation

2013-14: Watercraft Participation

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? Almost 20% of the Australian population fish and 19% of those people fish on rocky coasts. More men (23%) than women (14%) participate in fishing.

Question: Which of the following coastal activities have you participated in during the past 12 months? More than one in 10 people are surfers or bodyboarders (13%). Young people (16-24 year olds) have the highest participation (20%).

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. Tasmania has the highest participation (16%).

Reference: SLSA National Coastal Safety Survey 2014

8.2 million swimmers 2.8 million frequent swimmers (at least once a month) 62.5 swimming hours per swimmer per year

Watercraft 1.5 million other watercraft users 0.6 million frequent watercraft users (at least once a month) 126 watercraft hours per watercraft user per year


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

12

Risk Perception

4% 3%

Section 01

Swimming Ability in General Able to Swim 50m in the Ocean without Stopping 29%

15%

15%

33%

15%

Not Very Hazardous

Not at all Hazardous

38% Extremely Hazardous Very Hazardous Somewhat Hazardous Not Very Hazardous Not at all Hazardous Can't Say

33%

38%

13

Swimming Ability

3% 2% 6%

7%

Community and Capability

34%

60% 31%

23%

35%

21% 17%

36% 13% Extremely Hazardous Very Hazardous Somewhat Hazardous Not Very Hazardous Not at all Hazardous Can’t Say

12%

8% 1%

7%

2%

Can't Say

Unable to Swim

Weak Swimmer

Average Swimmer

Competent Swimmer

Highly Competent Swimmer

Able to Swim 50m in a Pool without Stopping

Able to Swim 50m in the Ocean without Stopping

Figure 10

Figure 11

Figure 13

Figure 14

2013-14: Hazard Perception of the Coast

2013-14: Hazard Perception of the Beach

2013-14: Swimming Ability of the Australian Public

2013-14: Ability to Swim 50m Without Stopping

Question: How hazardous do you believe the coast to be? One in 10 Australians believe the coast to be extremely or very hazardous, while 33% perceive it to be not very hazardous and 15% believe it to be not at all hazardous.

Question: How hazardous do you believe the beach to be? Less than 10% of the Australian population see the beach as very or extremely hazardous. More than half of all Australians believe the beach is not very (38%) or not at all (15%) hazardous.

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 pools or other locations. While 35% of people say they are competent or highly competent swimmers in general, only 24% of people rate themselves as competent or highly competent swimmers in the ocean.

Question: Are you currently able to swim 50m without stopping? Are you currently able to swim 50m in the ocean without stopping? While 60% of people are able to swim 50m or more without stopping in a pool or other enclosed body of water, only 35% of people say they are able to swim 50m in the ocean.

2%

2% 3%

Respect the Water

11%

10%

1% 21%

21%

43%

Unpatrolled Beach

28%

Patrolled Beach During Patrolled Hours Only Patrolled Beach, but Not Always During Patrolled Hours Unpatrolled Beach Rock Pool Harbour Pool Netted or Enclosed Pool Can’t Say

Figure 12

2013-14: Usual Swimming Location Question: Where do you usually go swimming in the ocean? Less than half of the Australian population (43%) usually swim at patrolled beaches while 28% swim at patrolled beaches outside of patrol hours. More than one in five Australians (21%) usually swim at unpatrolled locations.

There is a significant lack of awareness among the general public about the hazards posed by the beach. Surf Life Saving Australia’s 2014 National Coastal Safety Survey revealed: • The coast and beach are not perceived as hazardous by the general population—48% view the coast as not very or not at all hazardous, and a further 38% of people believe it is only somewhat hazardous. • The swimming ability of the general public in the ocean is low—only 35% of people can swim 50m in the ocean without stopping. • People overestimate their ability to identify hazards such as rip currents—only 36% of people correctly identified a rip current. • Participants in coastal activities do not follow key safety procedures—only 43% of people usually swim between the flags; 28% usually swim at patrolled beaches out of patrol hours; 21% usually swim at unpatrolled locations; only 16% of fishers and 46% of boaters always wear a lifejacket.

This lack of respect for the water, people’s poor swimming ability in the ocean and their low level of adherence to safety procedures form a dangerous combination that has contributed to coastal drowning deaths. Surf Life Saving Australia has identified the need for a public awareness campaign to influence perception of coastal hazards. It is the first step on the journey to improving safety practices and reducing drowning deaths among beachgoers and coastal users. The aim is to increase people’s understanding of and respect for the water, to improve resilience to coastal hazards and ultimately reduce drowning deaths among beachgoers and coastal users.

29%

24% More than 5 years ago

24%

15%

11%

This Year Last Year 2 to 5 Years Ago More than 5 Years Ago Never Can’t Say

Figure 15

2013-14: Frequency of Swimming More than 50m in the Ocean Question: When was the last time you swam 50m or further in the ocean? One quarter of Australians have swum more than 50m in the ocean in the last 18 months, while 29% of people have never swum more than 50m in the ocean. Reference: SLSA National Coastal Safety Survey 2014


Surf Life Saving Australia

Capability

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 emergency services. Our lifesavers are equipped with fit-for-purpose equipment designed to operate in hazardous and challenging conditions. Thousands of rescue boards and tubes are utilised around the flagged patrol areas of our 311 Surf Life Saving clubs. They are supported by 859 inflatable rescue boats (IRBs), allowing lifesavers to quickly navigate the whitewater surf zone and near-shore environment. Critical to our drowning prevention strategy are roving surveillance patrols that actively monitor a stretch of coastline in the vicinity of the primary patrolled flags area. Lifesavers undertake these patrols using 405 side-by-side all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and 4WD vehicles. SLS support operations services extend further beyond the flags to provide surveillance and emergency response into more isolated and hazardous coastal areas. Agile craft such as 150 rescue water craft (RWC) and eight jet rescue boats (JRBs) allow lifesavers to access and rescue in more hazardous whitewater areas such as coastal bars and rocky coastlines.

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

Section 01

Community and Capability

14

Our national fleet of 21 offshore rescue boats (ORBs) and nine rigid-hull inflatable boats (RIBs) further expand our response capability providing longer distance surveillance and bluewater rescue services as well as supporting lifesaving in SAR operations. For rapid, isolated or complex rescues, 11 Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters provide aerial support to lifesavers and extend our surveillance and search and rescue capability. These important assets also support police and emergency services in a range of emergency and disaster situations. To deliver critical radio communications to support these services, a broad coastal radio network has been established connected to communications and operations centres. These centres coordinate the SLS emergency response system and input data into our SurfCom data management system. All of these services are expertly delivered and managed through the 47,080 qualified lifesavers across the country. They receive specialised training to industry best-practice standards under the Australian Qualifications Framework to ensure the Australian community receives reliable service of the highest quality across the nation.

15

Figure 16

2013-14: Surf Life Saving Clubs There are 311 clubs around Australia: 129 in New South Wales, 59 in Queensland, 57 in Victoria, 29 in Western Australia, 19 in South Australia, 14 in Tasmania and 4 in Northern Territory.

Darwin

4 59 29 19

Brisbane

129

Perth Adelaide

Canberra

57 0

1,000km

Melbourne

SCALE

14 Hobart

Sydney


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

Section 01

Community and Capability

16

Capability

17

Figure 17

Figure 18

2013-14: Australian Lifeguard Services

2013-14: SLS Asset Location and Service Range

There are 228 lifeguard services around Australia: 84 in New South Wales, 83 in Queensland, 38 in Victoria, 17 in Western Australia, 2 in South Australia, 1 in Tasmania and 3 in Northern Territory.

SLS maintains a fleet of 150 RWCs, eight JRBs, nine RIBs, 21 ORBs and 11 helicopters. Their locations and service ranges are depicted on this map. Rescue Water Craft (RWC) Jet Rescue Boat (JRB)

Darwin

Darwin

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

3 83 17 2

Brisbane

Brisbane

84

Perth

Perth Adelaide

Adelaide Canberra

38 0

1,000km

Sydney

Melbourne

Canberra

0

1,000km

Melbourne

SCALE

SCALE

1 Hobart

Australian Lifeguard Service The Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS) is a national lifeguard service providing beach and pool lifeguard services to 65 local government councils and land managers all across Australia. It is the largest provider of professional lifeguards in Australia. Annually, the ALS employs more than 1,200 full-time, seasonal and casual lifeguards and management staff. ALS patrols are fully integrated into and work alongside Surf Life Saving’s volunteer beach patrol services, support operations services, 24hour emergency response systems and strategically located Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Services. They are a crucial component in offering a seamless service to the community during peak periods. ALS patrols vary from single-day patrols on public holidays (e.g. Australia Day) or peak periods to private providers to 365-day services for large local governments.

Hobart

Sydney


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

18

Membership Capacity

Case Study Mid-week Drowning

3,947

2,744 2,443 8,711

7,884 1,435

5,383 901

628 654

2,732 822

NSW

QLD

VIC

WA

SA

TAS

600 617 103 169

185

NT

NSW

QLD

VIC

WA

SA

TAS

Figure 20

2013-14: Patrolling Lifesavers

2013-14: Apply First Aid and Advanced Resuscitation Techniques Certificate Holders There were a total of 8,948 Apply First Aid and 10,476 Advanced Resuscitation Techniques certificate holders who were proficient for the 2013-14 season.

Education

10,000

8,000

Number (n)

Across the board—excluding Advanced Resuscitation Techniques Certificate (ARTC)—there has been steady growth or maintenance of levels for each of the main patrol awards. 2013-14 saw a sharp increase in new Inflatable Rescue Boat Crew (IRBC)—an award where we have been struggling to attract members. Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) remains steady as does Basic Beach Management and Inflatable Rescue Boat Driver (IRBD), although an increase in both of these awards would be welcomed in the majority of clubs. While Bronze Medallion has seen an overall decrease in the past four years, what is more important is that clubs are retaining these members as proficient year after year rather than training many new members each season. This loss of experience and the time taken to train new members is costly and time consuming. The focus in lifesaving education is not so much on the quantity of awards, but instead on trying to work much smarter while maintaining the focus on continuous improvement, quality delivery and risk management. Our ultimate goal is to develop practices in education that simplify our processes, assisting us to achieve and maintain quality training and assessment which ultimately supports efforts to reach our goal of a 50% reduction in drowning deaths on Australia’s coast by 2020.

33

NT

Surf Rescue Certificate Bronze Medallion Basic Beach Management Advanced Resuscitation Techniques Certificate Inflatable Rescue Boat Crew Inflatable Rescue Boat Driver

6,000

4,000

2,000

0

2010

Sunday Saturday Friday Thursday Wednesday Tuesday Monday

600 500 102 400 104 300 86

197

200 97 100 115

186

0 Weekday

Weekend

Figure 22

2004-14: 10-year Coastal Drowning Deaths by Day

Figure 19

There were a total of 47,080 patrolling members for the 2013-14 season.

25

Over the last 10 years, 888 (96%) of the coastal drowning incidents have occurred on a known day of the week. Of these incidents, 504 (57%) have occurred on a weekday and 384 (43%) have occurred on a weekend. It is an average of 101 incidents per weekday and 192 incidents per weekend day. Coastal drowning deaths are significantly higher on the weekends (Chi square analysis, p > 0.05). The majority of mid-week drowning deaths occur on Monday; this may be due to increased exposure during holiday long weekends, which have not been considered in this analysis. Volunteer surf lifesavers patrol beaches on weekends and public holidays only. The results of this analysis highlight the need for ongoing lifeguard services during the week to ensure beaches are patrolled when the majority of the coastal drowning deaths occur.

Number (n)

Apply First Aid Advanced Resuscitation Techniques

5,166

21,363

2011

2012

2013

2014

Figure 21

2010-14: New Lifesaving Awards


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

Section 01

Community and Capability

20

Rescues

Figure 23

21

494,047

5,326

2013-14: Rescues per Local Government Area (LGA) 375,287

3,917

SLS lifesavers, lifeguards and support service personnel performed rescues across 105 LGAs around Australia. Key to Rescues per LGA 1-9 Rescues

1,364

Darwin

10-49 Rescues

90,466

50-149 Rescues

522

356

178

150-449 Rescues > 450 Rescues

NSW

Brisbane

Perth Adelaide Canberra

0

1,000km

Melbourne

SCALE

Hobart

Sydney

QLD

VIC

SA

37,944

48

WA

TAS

12,545

NT

NSW

QLD

VIC

SA

WA

819

4,929

TAS

NT

Figure 24

Figure 25

2013-14: Rescues per State

2013-14: Preventative Actions per State

SLS lifesavers, lifeguards and support service personnel performed 11,711 rescues during 2013-14.

SLS lifesavers, lifeguards and support service personnel performed 1,016,037 preventative actions during 2013-14.


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

Section 01

Community and Capability

22

Rescues

23

Figure 26

Figure 27

2013-14: Emergency Response per Local Government Area (LGA)

2004-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths per Local Government Area (LGA)

SLS support service personnel responded to requests for assistance from emergency services across 77 LGAs.

During 2004 to 2014, there were 929 drowning deaths in 140 LGAs throughout Australia.

Key to Emergency Responses per LGA

Key to Coastal Drowning Deaths per LGA

1-2 Emergency Responses

1- 4 Drowning Deaths

Darwin

3-5 Emergency Responses

Darwin

5-9 Drowning Deaths

6-13 Emergency Responses

10-16 Drowning Deaths

14-24 Emergency Responses

17-30 Drowning Deaths

> 25 Emergency Responses

> 31 Drowning Deaths

Brisbane

Perth

Brisbane

Perth Adelaide Canberra

0

1,000km

Adelaide

Sydney

Canberra

Melbourne 0

SCALE

1,000km

Melbourne

SCALE

Hobart

Hobart

Sydney


Section 02 Drowning Analysis

84

89 %

COASTAL

MALE

DROWNING DEATHS

11%

FEMALE

Contributory Factors

Rip Currents

15%

Medical Condition or Injury

24%

Alcohol/Drugs

14%


National Coastal Safety Report 2014

120

Numbers on bars represent total deaths

Number (n)

100

113

0.6

35

0.5

30

118 0.4

98

95

89

89

85

84

60

0.3

69 0.2

40 20 0

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

27

2.0

Coastal Drowning Deaths Crude Drowning Rate Per 100,000

1.8 1.6

25 Number (n)

No COD Listed COD Listed

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

140

89

Drowning Analysis

26

National Overview

80

Section 02

1.4 1.2

20

1.0 15

0.8 0.6

10

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

Surf Life Saving Australia

0.4

0.1

5

0

0

0.2 0 NSW

QLD

VIC

WA

SA

TAS

NT

Figure 28

Figure 30

2004-14: 10-year Trend of National Coastal Drowning Deaths

2013-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by State (n=84)

National coastal drowning death numbers and crude drowning rates for 2004-14 are shown above. The 10-year average rate per 100,000 population is 0.43 and number is 93, the rate for 2013-14 is 0.36 and number is 84.

Of the 84 coastal drowning deaths, 30 (36%) occurred in New South Wales, 15 (18%) in Queensland, 15 (18%) in Victoria, nine (11%) in Western Australia, seven (8%) in South Australia, four (5%) in Tasmania and four (5%) in Northern Territory.

14

0.18

1.2

Female Male

12

1.0

10

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

0.12 0.10 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0 2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Number (n)

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.16

0.8

8 0.6 6 0.4

4

0.2

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+ unknown

0.0

Figure 29

Figure 31

2004-14: 10-year Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity

2013-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Age Group and Sex (n=84)

The national rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time. The rates of swimming and wading (0.08 vs. 0.13 average rate per 100,000 pop.), boating (0.06 vs. 0.07 average rate per 100,000 pop.), rock fishing (0.05 vs. 0.06 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and snorkelling (0.004 vs. 0.02 average rate per 100,000 pop.) are all below the 10-year average rate. Watercraft (0.03 rate per 100,000 pop.) and attempting a rescue (0.02 rate per 100,000 pop.) activities have rates equal to the 10-year averages. Diving (0.03 vs. 0.02 average rate per 100,000 pop.), rock/cliff related (0.02 vs. 0.01 rate per 100,000 pop.) and other (0.03 vs. 0.02 average rate per 100,000 pop.) activities have a higher rate this year than the 10-year average. Other activities include vehicular events, plane crash and falls.

The age groups representing the highest rates of fatalities are 80-84 years (n=5, 1.12 rate per 100,000 pop.) and 60-64 years (n=12, 0.98 rate per 100,000 pop.). Of the 84 fatalities, 75 (89%) were male.

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.20


6 5 4

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

12:01am-1 am

June

May

0 April

1

0 March

2

2

2:01am-3am

3

4

1:01am-2am

Percentage (%)

6

February

33.3%

8

January

14.3%

Beach Offshore Rock/Cliff Marina/Jetty

10

December

8.3%

17.9%

Beach

7

12

November

Swimming/ Wading

38.1%

8

14

October

22.6%

9

16

September

38.1% Swimming/Wading Boating Rock Fishing Watercraft Diving Rock/Cliff Related Attempting a Rescue Snorkelling Other Unknown

10

18

July

Percentage (%)

25.0%

20

August

22.6%

1.2% 6.0%

8.3%

29

3.6%

6.0% 8.3%

Drowning Analysis

28

National Overview

7.1%

Section 02

11:01pm-12am

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

10:01pm-11pm

Surf Life Saving Australia

Figure 32

Figure 33

Figure 34

Figure 35

2013-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity (n=84)

2013-14: Location of Coastal Drowning Deaths (n=84)

2013-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Month (n=84)

2013-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Time (n=61)*

The majority of coastal drowning deaths occurred when an individual was participating in swimming or wading (19, 22.6%), boating (15, 17.9%), rock fishing (12, 14.3%), using non-powered watercraft (7, 8.3%) or scuba diving (7, 8.3%).

There were 32 coastal drowning deaths which occurred at a beach, 28 occurred offshore and 21 occurred at a rock/cliff location. The percentages illustrate a reduction in beach drowning deaths (38.1% from 52.9%) and an increase in offshore (33.3% from 18.2%) and rock/cliff locations (25% from 19%) when compared with last year (2012-13).

The highest percentage of coastal drowning occurred in the month of January (n=15, 18%), followed by February and October (n=10, 12%). Fifty deaths (60%) occurred outside of the summer months. Shading denotes season.

There are currently 61 coastal drowning deaths (73%) with known times. Most of these fatalities occurred between 12:01pm and 3pm (20, 24%). * Only incidents with known times are represented.

3.6% 14.3%

22.6%

Blackspots A blackspot is an area with a high concentration of coastal/ocean incidents and a high probability/risk of ongoing reoccurrence. SLSA has identified the local government areas (LGAs) listed below as blackspots. These LGAs are priorities for conducting coastal risk assessments and implementing drowning prevention activities via the Beach Drowning Blackspot Reduction Program. New South Wales: Bega Valley Shire, Byron Shire, City of Coffs Harbour, City of Gosford, City of Randwick, City of Wollongong, Manly, Pittwater, Sutherland Shire, Tweed Shire, Warringah, Waverley, Wyong Shire Northern Territory: City of Darwin Queensland: Cairns Region, City of Gold Coast, Redland City, Sunshine Coast Council/Noosa Shire South Australia: City of Onkaparinga Tasmania: West Tamar Municipality Victoria: City of Greater Geelong, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Bass Coast Shire, Surf Coast Shire Western Australia: City of Wanneroo

39.3%

51.2% Greater than 5km

51.2%

20.2%

Greater than 50km

26.2% Greater than 5km Less than 1km 1km to 5km

39.3%

22.6%

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

Figure 36

Figure 37

2013-14: Distance from Drowning Location to a Lifesaving Service (n=84)

2013-14: Distance from Residence to Drowning Location (n=84)

Forty-three individuals (51.2%) drowned further than 5km from the nearest lifesaving club. No coastal drowning deaths occurred between the red and yellow flags.

Thirty-three individuals (39.3%) lived further than 50km from the drowning location, and 12 coastal drowning deaths (14.3%) involved international tourists.


Surf Life Saving Australia

Drowning Analysis

2004-14: Drowning Location Map

31

Darwin

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

Brisbane

Perth

Adelaide

Sydney Canberra Melbourne

0

1,000km

SCALE

Hobart


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

0.6

Number (n)

40

39 35

30

46

0.5

40

0.4

35 30

29 20

23

0.3 0.2

10

Figure 41 3.3% 3.3% 3.3%

26.7%

6.7%

26.7% Rock Fishing

10.0%

0.1

0

2004-14: NSW Coastal Drowning Deaths

10.0%

23.3% 13.3%

0 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14

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

Sydney

Figure 38

Figure 39

2004-14: 10-year Trend of NSW Coastal Drowning Deaths

2013-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity (n=30)

In 2013-14, there were 30 coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.40 deaths per 100,000 pop. in New South Wales (NSW). From 2004 to 2014, there has been an average number of 37 coastal drowning deaths per year, which is a 10-year average rate of 0.52 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in NSW occurred when an individual was participating in rock fishing (8, 26.7%), swimming and wading (7, 23.3%), attempting a rescue (4, 13.3%) or boating (3, 10%).

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

0.25

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

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

Figure 40

2004-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in NSW. In 2013-14, there were 30 coastal drowning deaths. Activities where the rate is less than the 10-year average include swimming and wading (0.09 vs. 0.17 average rate per 100,000 pop.), boating (0.04 vs. 0.05 average rate per 100,000 pop.), watercraft (0.01 vs. 0.04 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and snorkelling (0.00 vs. 0.01 average rate per 100,000 pop.). Activities where the rate is equal to the 10-year average rate are rock fishing (0.11 rate per 100,000 pop.) and other rock/cliff activities unrelated to fishing (0.01 rate per 100,000 pop.). Activities that have a rate greater than the 10-year average are attempting a rescue (0.05 vs. 0.03 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and diving (0.03 vs. 0.02 average rate per 100,000 pop.).

Other New South Wales Coastal Safety Issues

Case Study: Rock Fishing Drowning Rates Rock fishing has been called Australia’s most dangerous sport due to imagery of big waves crashing over rock platforms, and in 1993, the NSW Coroner said it had the highest fatality rate of any sport in NSW. Statistics may further support these claims. For the first time, the crude population rate of drowning related to rock fishing is higher than swimming and wading. Further analysis using data collected by the NSW Population Health Survey calculates a population risk rate based on the portion of the population which reports participation in swimming and rock fishing. Rock fishing is 3.1 times riskier than swimming based on participation and fatalities occurring during these activities in NSW. These statistics reinforce Surf Life Saving’s important work to reduce the rock-fishing-related drowning rate by introducing and enhancing dangerous surf warnings, educating rock fishers on safe angling techniques and lobbying for legislation to mandate the wearing of lifejackets.

18

0.30

16

0.25

14 12

0.20

10

0.15

8 6

0.10

4

0.05

2

Issue

Intervention

Rip currents

Surf education programs in Western Sydney

Drowning deaths while attempting a rescue

Enhancing triple zero (000) awareness Improve effective emergency response

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

50

33

Number (n)

0.7

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

60

45

Drowning Analysis

32

New South Wales

48

Section 02

0

0.00 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14

Swimming/Wading (n) Rock Fishing (n)

Swimming/Wading Crude Drowning Rate Rock Fishing Crude Drowning Rate

Figure 42

while rock fishing.

2004-14: Coastal Rock-fishing- and Swimming/Wading-related Drowning Deaths There were a total of 78 drowning deaths during rock fishing activity in NSW. In addition, four deaths occurred when rock fishers entered the water to rescue a companion who unintentionally entered the water.


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

30

0.6

25

0.5

10

17

11

16

17

0.3 15 13

12

0.2

9 0.1

5 0

2004-14: Queensland Coastal Drowning Deaths

13.3%

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

Number (n)

0.4

35

Figure 46

24 20 18

Drowning Analysis

34

Queensland

15

Section 02

33.3%

6.7% 6.7%

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

33.3% Boating

13.3% 26.7%

0 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14

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

Figure 43

Figure 44

2004-14: 10-year Trend of Queensland Coastal Drowning Deaths

2013-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity (n=15)

In 2013-14, there were 15 coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.32 deaths per 100,000 pop. in Queensland (Qld). From 2004 to 2014, there has been an average number of 15 coastal drowning deaths per year, which is a 10-year average rate of 0.35 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in Qld occurred when an individual was participating in boating (5, 33.3%), swimming and wading (4, 26.7%), or activities in a rock/cliff location that were not related to fishing (2, 13.3%).

Case Study: Tourism Queensland is a well-established tourism destination. Its appeal is entwined with its long sandy beaches and warm climate. Its success in attracting a combination of domestic and international tourists is reflected in the annual drowning toll. From 2004 to 2014, 28.3% of drowning victims were considered locals living within 10km of the coast. The remainder were intrastate Queenslanders (33.6%), international tourists (25.7%), and interstate domestic tourists (11.2%). Although international tourist drownings regularly make headlines and attract media coverage, it should be noted that domestic tourists drown in higher numbers. Surf Life Saving Queensland, working closely with the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast councils, has developed a targeted community engagement and marketing strategy designed to reach tourists with key safety advice in order to reduce the drowning toll. The strategy features targeted advertising through airlines and airports, as well as their coastal accommodation network. Lifesavers also meet and engage visitors at the airports providing safety advice and materials.

0.25

11.2% 1.3%

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.20

33.6% Swimming/Wading Boating Snorkelling Watercraft Attempting a Rescue Diving Rock Fishing Rock/Cliff Related Other 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

25.7%

Intrastate

28.3%

Brisbane

2013-14

Figure 45

Intrastate Local International Interstate Unknown

Figure 47

2004-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity Other Queensland Coastal Safety Issues The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in Qld. In 2013-14, there were 15 coastal drowning deaths. Activities where the rate is less than the 10-year average include swimming and wading (0.08 vs. 0.13 average rate per 100,000 pop.), watercraft (0.02 vs. 0.04 average rate per 100,000 pop.), snorkelling (0.00 vs. 0.04 average rate per 100,000 pop.), diving (0.00 vs. 0.01 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and attempting a rescue (0.00 vs. 0.02 average rate per 100,000 pop.). Activities that have a rate greater than the 10-year average are boating (0.11 vs. 0.07 average rate per 100,000 pop.), rock fishing (0.02 vs. 0.01 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and other activities related to rock/cliff locations (0.04 vs. 0.01 average rate per 100,000 pop.).

33.6%

Issue

Intervention

Snorkelling and scuba diving

Charter boat awareness program

Rocky-coast-related drowning

Coastal risk assessments Emergency response beacons

2004-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Location of Origin There were a total of 152 drowning deaths in Queensland, of which 33.6% travelled intrastate, 28.3% were local, 25.7% were international visitors, 11.2% were from interstate and 1.3% were from an unknown location.


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in Vic occurred when an individual was participating in boating (4, 26.7%), swimming and wading (2, 13.3%), and using non-powered watercraft (2, 13.3%).

0.14

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.12 0.10 Swimming/Wading Boating Watercraft Rock Fishing Attempting a Rescue Diving Rock/Cliff Related Snorkelling Other 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

Other Victorian Coastal Safety Issues Issue

Intervention

16

Watercraft

Promoting lifejacket usage

14

Drowning deaths at a distance from a lifesaving service

Play it Safe By the Water campaign Enhancing the emergency response system Open Water Learning Experience programs

Rock fishing

Promoting lifejacket usage and key safety messages

5

4

12 10

3

8 2

6 4

1

2 0

0

2013-14

Figure 52 Figure 50

2004-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Age

2004-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in Vic. In 2013-14, there were 15 coastal drowning deaths. Activities where the rate is less than the 10-year average include swimming and wading (0.03 vs. 0.08 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and snorkelling (0.00 vs. 0.005 average rate per 100,000 pop.). The rock fishing activity rate is equal to the 10-year average this year (0.02 average rate per 100,000 pop.). Activities that have a rate greater than the 10-year average are boating (0.07 vs. 0.05 average rate per 100,000 pop.), watercraft (0.03 vs. 0.02 average rate per 100,000 pop.), attempting a rescue (0.02 vs. 0.01 average rate per 100,000 pop.), diving (0.02 vs. 0.01 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and other rock/cliff activities unrelated to fishing (0.02 vs. 0.006 average rate per 100,000 pop.).

From 2004 to 2014, there were 139 drowning deaths in Victoria. For the age category 60-64 the rate is 4.65 per 100,000 pop., which is significantly higher than the rate of 3.26 per 100,000 pop. for 40-44 year olds.

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

In 2013-14, there were 15 coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.26 deaths per 100,000 pop. in Victoria (Vic). From 2004 to 2014, there has been an average number of 14 coastal drowning deaths per year, which is a 10-year average rate of 0.26 per 100,000 population.

85+

2013-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity (n=15)

75-79

Figure 49

2004-14: 10-year Trend of Victorian Coastal Drowning Deaths

80-84

Figure 48

70-74

13.3%

65-69

6.7%

0 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14

60-64

0

Melbourne

55-59

6.7%

50-54

13.3%

45-49

Boating

40-44

0.1

5

26.7%

6.7%

35-39

10

30-34

10

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

25-29

12

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

20-24

11

11

6.7%

15-19

10

0.2

5-9

15

15

Young adults in the ‘risk taker’ demographic are traditionally more commonly associated with coastal drownings. This year Victoria has seen an over-representation in the drowning rates of people over 60 years of age. For every age bracket from 60-64 to 85+ years, the rate of coastal drowning was significantly greater than the gross drowning total, reflecting the over-representation of the group among the drowning statistics. Addressing the underlying issues of drowning in older populations is a priority for Life Saving Victoria. The Play It Safe by the Water campaign is designed to provide practical advice to the community across a broad range of activities and environments. The Grey Medallion Program (Royal Life Saving Society Australia) aims to develop aquatic skills of older Australians to make them more resilient in the water. Practical participation under supervision is critical to ensure older people recognise their capabilities in the water and manage their own risk exposure accordingly.

10-14

17

26.7% 6.7%

Case Study: Drowning Among 60+ Year Olds

0-4

Number (n)

0.3

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

23

2004-14: Victorian Coastal Drowning Deaths

13.3%

Number (n)

0.4 20

37

Figure 51

0.45

25

14

Drowning Analysis

36

Victoria

15

Section 02


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

0.6 15

0.5 15

10

12

11

10

11

0.3 9

8

5

0.4

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.7

20 Number (n)

22.2%

0.8 24

11.1%

22.2% Rock Fishing 22.2%

0.2

11.1%

0

11.1%

04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14

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

Figure 53

Figure 54

2004-14: 10-year Trend of Western Australian Coastal Drowning Deaths

2013-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity (n=9)

In 2013-14, there were nine coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.35 deaths per 100,000 pop. in Western Australia (WA). From 2004 to 2014, there has been an average number of 13 coastal drowning deaths per year, which is a 10-year average rate of 0.56 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in WA occurred when an individual was participating in rock fishing (2, 22.2%) and diving (2, 22%).

Case Study: Regional Drowning Western Australia features an expansive coastline from the tropical north at its border with the Northern Territory, through to the Great Australian Bight at the South Australian border. A range of attractions, activities and beautiful locations draw visitors to regional, remote and very remote areas of the WA coastline. These locations are also where the vast majority of coastal drowning deaths occur in the state. Last year, 89% of coastal drownings occurred in regional locations. Enhancing lifesaving services to meet community needs has been a key focus for Surf Life Saving Western Australia (SLSWA). Support services play a crucial role in responding to incidents in locations that are unviable for a traditional lifesaving club service. Improving communication networks, developing marine support operation services such as the Wesfarmers Lifesaver RWC Team, and locating a second Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service in the south-west are important activities to reduce the drowning toll in regional areas.

11.1%

0.1 0

2004-14: Western Australian Coastal Drowning Deaths

11.1%

0.9 25

39

Figure 56

1.0

30

13

Drowning Analysis

38

Western Australia

15

Section 02

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

8

0.30

7 Number (n)

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

9 0.35

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

6 5 4 3 2

Perth

1 0

Regional Locations

Metro Locations

2013-14

Figure 57 Figure 55

2013-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Location

2004-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity Other Western Australian Coastal Safety Issues The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in WA. In 2013-14, there were nine coastal drowning deaths. Activities where the rate is less than the 10-year average include swimming and wading (0.04 vs. 0.15 average rate per 100,000 pop.), rock fishing (0.08 vs. 0.11 average rate per 100,000 pop.), boating (0.04 vs. 0.07 average rate per 100,000 pop.), snorkelling (0.04 vs. 0.07 average rate per 100,000 pop.), watercraft (0.04 vs. 0.05 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and attempting a rescue (0.00 vs. 0.01 average rate per 100,000 pop.). Activities that have a rate greater than the 10-year average are diving (0.08 vs. 0.03 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and other activities (0.00 vs. 0.03 average rate per 100,000 pop.).

Issue

Intervention

Recreational fishing

Angel ring program Promoting lifejacket usage

Swimming and wading deaths

Community education programs

Of the nine coastal drowning deaths in 2013-14, eight occurred in regional locations.


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

Number (n)

0.6

11 9

0.5

6

7

7 6

0.4 0.3

4 4

0.2 3

2

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

0.7

13 10

2004-14: South Australian Coastal Drowning Deaths

14.3%

0.8

12

42.9% 42.9%

0 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14

42.9%

Swimming/ Wading

0.1

2

41

Figure 61

0.9

14

9

Drowning Analysis

40

South Australia

8

Section 02

Swimming/Wading Boating Other

0

Figure 58

Figure 59

2004-14: 10-year Trend of South Australian Coastal Drowning Deaths

2013-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity (n=7)

In 2013-14, there were seven coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.42 deaths per 100,000 pop. in South Australia (SA). From 2004 to 2014, there has been an average number of seven coastal drowning deaths per year, which is a 10-year average rate of 0.44 per 100,000 population.

The majority of coastal drowning deaths in SA occurred when an individual was participating in swimming and wading (3, 42.9%) and boating (3, 42.9%).

0.40

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

Adelaide

Other South Australian Coastal Safety Issues

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

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

Figure 60

2004-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in SA. In 2013-14, there were seven coastal drowning deaths. Activities where the rate is greater than the 10-year average include swimming and wading (0.18 vs. 0.16 average rate per 100,000 pop.), boating (0.18 vs. 0.12 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and other activities (0.06 vs. 0.02 average rate per pop.). There were no additional activities being undertaken when drowning deaths occurred in 2013-14.

Issue

Intervention

Boating

Lifejackets campaign

Swimming and wading

Vacation swimming program

Case Study: Regional Drowning Renowned for its Coonawarra wine region and spectacular coastline, the Limestone Coast region of South Australia has become a popular tourist destination. The region is projected to increase in population by 7.7% towards 2026 with a high rate of youth and young families dominating the population profile. Surf Life Saving South Australia has identified the region as a priority to increase lifesaving services to match community needs. Ensuring services are sustainable is critical in regional areas, and a strategy is in place to deliver long-term solutions for the Limestone Coast community. Surf Life Saving clubs are being established in both Robe and Kingston, with an initial focus on junior development or ‘Nipper’ programs. These programs appeal to the young families in the region and provide an opportunity for parents to be trained as lifesavers. The Robe club also supports a rescue water craft (RWC) support operations service providing emergency response capability for the region.


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

Tasmania

42

Drowning Analysis

43

1.8

Figure 64

8

1.6

2004-14: Tasmanian Coastal Drowning Deaths

8

8

1.4 1.2

6 5 4

1.0 5

5

5

5

0.8 4

3

4

3

2

0.4

2

1

0.2

0 04-05

05-06

0.6

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

9

7 Number (n)

Section 02

06-07

07-08

08-09

09-10

10-11

11-12

12-13

13-14

Hobart

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

0

Figure 62

Other Tasmanian Coastal Safety Issues

2004-14: 10-year Trend of Tasmanian Coastal Drowning Deaths In 2013-14, there were four coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 0.78 deaths per 100,000 pop. in Tasmania (Tas). From 2004 to 2014, there has been an average number of five coastal drowning deaths per year, which is a 10-year average rate of 0.97 per 100,000 population.

1.2

Issue

Intervention

Boating

Boatwise app and public awareness campaigns (collaborations with MAST)

Fishing

Lifejacket usage promotion (collaboration with MAST)

Cold water immersion

Public awareness campaigns and on-water education (collaborations with MAST)

Case Study: Fishing and Watercraft Analysis of the National Coastal Safety Survey data revealed the aquatic participation habits of Tasmanians. The abundance of pristine natural waterways, coastline and cold-water fish stocks appears to be enough motivation for almost half of the population (48%) to participate in land-based or rock fishing. It also sees watercraft participation well above the national total. It includes kayaks, canoes and ocean skis which have increased in popularity over recent years. The Paddlesafe campaign was developed with Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) and key stakeholders to prepare the community for safe paddling practices, with a focus on safety equipment, lifejackets and point-of-sale education. Enhancement of the state emergency response system supports increased effective response to inland, inshore and offshore incidents.

18%

1.0 Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

TAS Australian Total

48%

0.8

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

16% 9%

Land-based or Rock Fishing

Watercraft

Figure 65

2013-14: Activity Participation in Tasmania (% of State Population vs. Australian Population)

2013-14

Figure 63

2004-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity

The National Coastal Safety Survey revealed that Tasmanians have higher participation in fishing (48%) and watercraft use (16%) than the Australian average. For futher details on the survey, refer to pages 12-13.

The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur varies over time in Tas. In 2013-14, there were four coastal drowning deaths. Activities where the rate is greater than the 10-year average include swimming and wading (0.19 vs. 0.14 average rate per 100,000 pop.), diving (0.39 vs. 0.10 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and watercraft (0.19 vs. 0.06 average rate per 100,000 pop.). There were no any additional activities being undertaken when drowning deaths occurred in 2013-14. Reference: SLSA National Coastal Safety Survey 2014


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

Section 02

Drowning Analysis

44

Northern Territory

7

3.0

6

2.5

45

Figure 68

6 Number (n)

5

2.0

4 4

4

1.5

3 1.0 2 2

2

0

0 04-05

0

05-06

06-07

07-08

08-09

1

1

09-10

10-11

11-12

12-13

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

Darwin

0.5

1 1

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

2004-14: Northern Territory Coastal Drowning Deaths

13-14

0.0

Case Study: Alcohol and Drug Toxicity Rates of positive alcohol and drug toxicity for drowning victims in the Northern Territory lead the country at 38.1%. This extremely high rate is clear evidence of the need for a concerted strategy to reduce consumption of drugs and alcohol in, on or around water. Surf Life Saving Northern Territory has established a communications strategy to emphasise the issue in the community, as well as providing targeted interventions such as the Boating Safety program into schools and Skippers Workshops to educate current boat operators about safe boating practices.

Figure 66

2004-14: 10-year Trend of Northern Territory Coastal Drowning Deaths In 2013-14, there were four coastal drowning deaths or a rate of 1.65 deaths per 100,000 pop. in the Northern Territory (NT). From 2004 to 2014, there has been an average number of two coastal drowning deaths per year, which is a 10-year average rate of 0.92 per 100,000 population.

23.8% 38.1%

38.1% Alcohol/Drug Toxicity

Other Northern Territory Coastal Safety Issues 1.4

Rate (per 100,000 pop.)

1.2

Issue

Intervention

Boating

Skippers education workshops

38.1%

Alcohol/Drug Toxicity No Toxicity Unknown

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

Figure 67

2004-14: Coastal Drowning Deaths by Activity The rates of activity types being undertaken when coastal drowning deaths occur vary over time in NT. In 2013-14, there were four coastal drowning deaths. Activities where the rate is greater than the 10-year average include swimming and wading (0.41 vs. 0.17 average rate per 100,000 pop.), rock/cliff related other than fishing (0.41 vs. 0.13 average rate per 100,000 pop.) and other activities (0.82 vs. 0.13 average rate per 100,000 pop.). There were no additional activities being undertaken when drowning deaths occurred in 2013-14.

Figure 69

2004-14: Drowning Deaths and Alcohol/ Drug Toxicity From 2004 to 2014, there were 21 drowning deaths in Northern Territory; of these 38.1% tested positive for alcohol and drug toxicity.


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

Case Study

46

Australian Water Safety Strategy 2020 Goal

RIPSAFE Project Figure 70

Figure 71

2004-20: Coastal Drowning Deaths to 2020

2004-14: Percentage of Rip-current-related Incidents

The 10-year average is 93 deaths per year. The goal of the Australian Water Safety Strategy is to reduce this figure to 47 deaths per year by 2020. The average number of coastal drowning deaths from 2004 to 2014 is 93 per year. The percentage of rip-current-related incidents has decreased from 34% to less than 16% over this 10-year period.

140 120 113 89

40

140

98 89

89

85

30

69

60

35

120

84

100

40

47

20

25 80

20 60

15

40

0 04-05

05-06

06-07

07-08

08-09

09-10

10-11

11-12

12-13

13-14

14-15

15-16

16-17

17-18

18-19

10

19-20 20

5

0

0 04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14

Reduce Coastal Drowning Deaths by 50% by 2020 Coastal drowning death totals have had peaks and troughs since 2004, with a 10-year average of 93 deaths per year. The 2008 Australian Water Safety Strategy set an ambitious aspirational goal of achieving a 50% reduction in drowning deaths by the year 2020 (AWSS, 2012). This reduction is based on a three-year average baseline calculated from incidents from 2004 to 2007, which is 94 coastal drowning deaths per year. To achieve this goal we need to reduce coastal incidents to 47 within the next six years. How does SLSA evolve to reduce the coastal drowning death trend? Similar to public safety authorities working with other natural hazards, we have recognised our inability to control coastal hazards such as waves and rip currents as well as how the community chooses to interact with them. We have chosen to take a risk reduction (UNISDR, 2014) approach. This strategy includes the need to develop resilient individuals and communities that can manage and reduce their own risks.

Number of Coastal Drowning Deaths Percentage of Rip-current-related Incidents

The risk reduction approach incorporates several priorities for action: • Ensuring risk reduction is a national and a local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation. • Identifying, assessing and monitoring hazard risks and enhancing early warning. • Using knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience across the community. • Reducing the underlying risk factors. • Strengthening preparedness for effective response at all levels. SLSA is establishing and embedding a risk-reduction approach into our processes, which are underpinned by the evidencebased Total Service Plan. The practice needs to be consistently implemented across: • Strategic planning • Funding allocations and grant distributions • Intervention prioritisation • Intervention design • Intervention monitoring and evaluation In order to achieve our goal of a 50% reduction in coastal drowning deaths by 2020, we have a challenging year-on-year reduction requirement. We require commitment, collaboration and a willingness to take evidence-based risks across the industry.

Percentage (%)

80

95

118

Number (n)

Number (n)

100

Since 2011, SLSA has been conducting a collaborative research project with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to investigate the rip current hazard and inform the development of evidenced-based drowning prevention interventions. A multidisciplinary team was established to investigate the physical and social sciences associated with rip currents. Following three years of field research, surveys and interviews, as well as collaboration and consultation with scientists and water safety colleagues internationally, the RIPSAFE project has delivered valuable insights and evidence to support our drowning prevention efforts. The research has revealed that rip currents are far more dynamic and variable than previously understood in the scientific literature. Their flow behaviour can either be offshore, directed or circulating, and vary from time to time, place to place, or in some cases minute to minute. This unpredictability has significant implications for key messages in education. To support the development of evidence-based drowning prevention strategies, the project has delivered a suite of Rip Current Survival Principles. These principles are set into two categories: avoidance and survival. They emphasise that avoidance of the hazard is paramount, but also describe the options available to people if they are caught in a rip current. The responses of floating, swimming parallel and seeking help are all presented as survival options, noting that the person should regularly reassess the situation and adopt an alternative response if necessary. This reflects the latest evidence including the complex nature of rip currents as well as the reported experiences of people who have been caught in them.


Surf Life Saving Australia

Glossary

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

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

48

Diving - Engaging in recreational or commercial scuba diving. Drowning - The process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid. Drowning death - A fatality arising from the process of respiratory impairment as a result of submersion/immersion in liquid. Emergency response - An action taken by an SLS entity in response to a call for assistance from an emergency management organisation. First Aid - Immediate or emergency assistance given on the spot to people suffering from illness or injury. Fishing - The act of catching fish. Foreign ethnicity - Individuals who identify with a cultural group other than Australian based on heritage, language or shared customs. This identification is extrapolated from reported data such as the individuals’ country of birth and the main language spoken at home. Hazard - The potential origin of danger, injury or difficulty. HRS - Helicopter rescue service. ILS - International Life Saving Federation. Inland - An area that is beyond the line of mean high water or beyond a landward distance of 5 times the width of the coastal inlet/river mouth. Inland Drowning Death - A fatality arising from the impairment of respiratory function as a result of immersion in liquid, where the location of the drowning is not considered coastal but occurs in an inland body of water such as a river, lake, creek or dam. International - An individual who is confirmed to reside overseas and/or is a temporary visitor to Australia. IRB - Inflatable rescue boat. JRB - Jet rescue boat. Lake - An inland body of water surrounded by land. Leisure Activity - An activity commenced on land such as play, walking, jogging or cycling. Lifeguard - Typically a paid employee at a beach or another aquatic environment whose role is to rescue people in danger of drowning or prevent them getting into that situation. Lifejacket - A buoyant or inflatable garment or device designed to keep a person afloat in water and increase their likelihood of survival.

Glossary

49

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

Service season and hours - Vary between states due to climatic factors, but in the context of this report, the season is for the period July 2013 to June 2014. Snorkelling - Swimming with a snorkel and face mask. Support operations - Rapid response rescue units, not affiliated to any specific surf life saving club. Surf Life Saving Club - A not-for-profit organisation that provides coastal safety services. Surf lifesaver - Typically a volunteer at a beach or another aquatic environment whose role is to rescue people in danger of drowning or prevent them getting into that situation. Surfcom - SLS radio communications centre which assists in managing the communications of lifesaving operations and data collection. Swimming - Being active while immersed in water. Total Service Plan - An assessment of current and future lifesaving resources, trends, national blackspots and coastal safety issues combined with evidenced-based mitigation strategies to address these issues. Undetermined - Cases that are not associated with a closed coroner’s report on NCIS are often left ‘undetermined’ until an official cause of death has been determined. Some examples are cases where bodies have been found washed up on the beach, reports of individuals struggling in coastal environments are made and the bodies are not found/missing persons reports are not made, or a suspected heart attack in a coastal environment rather than death due to immersion. These deaths will all be followed up on and the incident category updated once coroner determinations are made accessible. Wading - A person who is partially immersed in water while standing. Watercraft - A piece of non-powered recreational equipment used in the water. Examples include surfboards, boogie boards, windsurfers or kayaks.


Surf Life Saving Australia

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

Methodology

Drowning Data Analysis

The National Coastal Safety Report 2014 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 2013 to 30 June 2014. This information is correct as of 22 September 2014. 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.

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 complied 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 if drowning or drowning/immersion is not a primary cause of death. Further analysis of the 2013-14 coastal drowning deaths in Northern Territory and Tasmania will not be published because there were less than five fatalities this past year. The arrows included on the graphics in the National Drowning Snapshot indicate a comparison (increase, decrease or no change) with last year’s statistics. For example, the figure for New South Wales (the number 30 with a downward arrow) indicates the number of drowning deaths in that state has decreased compared with 2012-13.

Information about community swimming ability, behaviours and attitudes to coastal safety was gathered from the National Coastal Safety Survey. Conducted by Newspoll Market Research, the survey was run online over the period 10-13 April 2014 among a national sample of 1,389 respondents aged 16 to 69 years. The study was carried out in compliance with 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 16,217,000. A limitation of this research is that it may not fully capture the participation of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups. Some of the figures in the graphs sourced from this survey may not equal 100% due to rounding.

Capability and Rescue Analysis SurfGuard, the Incident Report database (IRD) and SurfCom management system (SurfCom) are web-based applications and are part of a suite of applications that enables 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 2013-14; and how many active lifesavers and new award holders there were during 2013-14. The data was verified by SLS state/territory entities. Information about assets, services and the number of responses to requests from emergency services was gathered from each SLS state/territory entity.

Reference

50

Reference

The Australian Community Analysis

National Coastal Safety Report 2014

51

Table 1

Changes in the Number of Coastal Drowning Deaths per Year as Previously Reported 2011 NCSR

2012 NCSR

2013 NCSR

2014 NCSR

2004-05

92

89

89

89

2005-06

103

95

95

95

2006-07

103

98

98

98

2007-08

92

89

89

89

2008-09

91

89

89

89

2009-10

84

83

85

85

2010-11

61

2011-12 2012-13 2013-14

70

72

69

119

115

113

121

118

Changes from Previous Reports Over years of investigation as part of the NCIS process, some cases are amended prior to their closure and have resulted in changes to our data sets. The new numbers of coastal drowning deaths are different from the annual totals that have been previously reported as cases have closed.

Surf Life Saving Australia wishes to thank the following people and organisations for their contribution to the National Coastal Safety Report 2014: • The Australian Government, principally the Department of Health • SLSA major national corporate partners, including DHL, Telstra and Westpac • Surf Life Saving state centres, branches, clubs and support operations • SLSA Research Advisory Committee • Royal Life Saving Society Australia, Amy Peden • Australian Lifeguard Service • Local government lifeguard services • National Coronial Information System, Jo Cotsonis, Leanne Daking and Catherine Daley

84

Contact Information Suggested Citation Surf Life Saving Australia (2014) National Coastal Safety Report 2014. SLSA: Sydney.

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 65% of 2013-14 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 undetermined cases, those with unknown intent, and those where the cause of death is not drowning. All deaths known to have occurred in coastal waters have been included as coastal drowning deaths, unless 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 28. The incidents are included in our annual totals and analysis, and they will remain so until a COD is listed other than drowning or immersion.

Acknowledgements

References • Australian Water Safety Council (2012) Australian Water Safety Strategy 2012-15. Australian Water Safety Council: Sydney. • Centre for Epidemiology and Research (2006). 2005 Report on Adult Health from the New South Wales Population Health Survey. Sydney: NSW Department of Health. • NSW Water Safety Taskforce (2003) Investigation into the coronial files of rock fishing fatalities that have occurred in NSW between 1992 and 2000. Sydney: NSW Water Safety Taskforce. • New Zealand, Ministry for the Environment (1991) Resource Management Act 1991. Retrieved from http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1991/0069/latest/ DLM230265.html?search=ts_act_Resource+Management+Act_ resel&p=1&sr=1 on 01/10/2014 • Short, A.D. (2003) Australia beach systems—the morphodynamics of wave through tide-dominated beach-dune systems. Journal of Coastal Research SI 35, 7-20. • South Australian Centre for Economic Studies, Adelaide and Flinders Universities. Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast. • Surf Life Saving Australia National Coastal Safety Survey (2014) Newspoll Online Omnibus April 2014. • United Nations Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (UNISDR) http://www.unisdr.org/

Surf Life Saving 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—surfrescue.com.au Surf Life Saving Tasmania—slst.asn.au Life Saving Victoria—lifesavingvictoria.com.au Surf Life Saving Western Australia – surflifesavingwa.com.au


National Drowning Snapshot 2013-14

84

COASTAL

DROWNING DEATHS

89 % MALE

Location

38%

FEMALE

Contributory Factors

51%

5KM FROM A LIFESAVING SERVICE

BEACH

11%

15%

24%

14%

RIP CURRENTS

MEDICAL CONDITION OR INJURY

ALCOHOL/ DRUGS

State/Territory

Activity

4 9

15

7

Swimming

Boating

Rock Fishing

Watercraft

23%

18%

30

15 4

14%

8%

National Coastal Safety Report 2014