New statistics reveal water safety campaigns may not be working as there’s barely a change in drowning death figures in Australia over the past five years.

It’s a timely warning on the eve of Queensland’s school holidays.

Paige Hasaballah reports.


Shocking statistics reveal 75 people drowned in Queensland waters in the past year.

Nationally, the figure is nearing 300 drownings, with most in New South Wales.

Men accounted for 82 per cent of those, with 25 per cent in rivers, creeks or streams.

23 per cent happened at beaches and 19 per cent in the ocean or harbours.

Alcohol was known to be a factor in 26 deaths, with men accounting for 77 per cent of these.

Drugs were involved in 22 deaths, with cannabis the most common illicit substance detected.

Michael Darben, Qld Royal Life Saving Society: “18-24 year olds are getting involved in aquatic activity once being drunk or under the influence of alcohol and that’s mainly the men as well so they are taking the risks and unfortunately drowning.”

With school holidays starting tomorrow and schoolies week fast approaching, water safety is an issue floating at the forefront.

The Lord Mayor and Surf Life Saving Queensland raised funds and awareness about being safe in the water this summer.

John Brennan, Surf Life Saving Qld CEO: “Look safety will be paramount and the community’s safety will be the highest degree we have.”

The Royal Life Saving Society says there are a few safety tips everyone should keep in mind.

Those include constant supervision of young children in the water and always swimming with a friend.

Michael Darben, Qld Royal Life Saving Soceity: “It may be that you decide to go for a surf one morning. Now you’re heading off to the beach and if you are by yourself and you’re the only one in the water and something happens, whether it be an accident or an illness, there is no one there to save you.”

Life savers will be on duty on our beaches from tomorrow but swimmers are encouraged to always swim between the flags.

Paige Hasaballah, QUT News.