Thirty six people fatally drowned in ‘Public and Commercial’ pools (including public pools and aquatic centres, as well as pools at schools and fitness centres), between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2015.

There were a further 257 non-fatal drowning incidents in ‘Public and Commercial’ pools which were primarily children aged 0-4 years (45%). Without the intervention of lifeguard actions, many of these non-fatal drownings may have resulted in a fatality.  Children aged 5-9 years accounted for the highest proportion of drowning deaths (19%). Adult or carer supervision had lapsed in 86% of incidents.
The high proportion of children drowning in public pools reinforces the need for a comprehensive child supervision program, such as ‘Keep Watch’ or ‘Watch Around Water’. These programs promote active adult supervision, with particular requirements for younger children and non-swimmers.
“Research shows that parents and carers need ongoing reminders about the important of active adult supervision. We encourage all facilities to contact Royal Life Saving to become a program partner, and receive a range of resources for water safety. ” says Justin Scarr.
The vast majority of drowning deaths occurred among local residents, with 94% of people who drowned living within the region. Males accounted for 81% of all drowning deaths.

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