How can we reduce drownings?
With a variety of waterways across our great state, all Western Australians need to take preventative actions when in and around water.
Royal Life Saving WA have numerous water safety tips to help us enjoy water-based activities safely, including the importance of;
- Learning swimming and water safety skills.
- Never swimming alone.
- Not participating in aquatic activities if you have consumed alcohol.
- Knowing the conditions of the waterway before you enter.
- Only participating in aquatic activities in conditions and environments that you are familiar with.
- Reading and obeying the signs and lifeguards, when on a patrolled beach.
- Supervising and having children within arm’s reach whenever they are in, on or around water.
- Ensuring that all bodies of water (i.e. baths, ponds, rivers and water tanks) are not accessible to children.
- Installing and maintaining a four-sided fence around all pools.
- Always wearing a lifejacket while boating.
For more tips and to view drowning prevention information for different population groups and waterways, visit Royal Life Saving WA’s website.
How to get help after drowning?
If someone is drowning, ensure that you do not become another casualty by prioritising your own safety at all times.
Like any medical emergency, call 000 immediately and ask for an ambulance if you require medical assistance.
If you believe that you can safely pull the person out of the water, call for assistance and then pass something to the casualty for them to hold onto. Alternatively, if the person is unresponsive or if you need to get into the water to assist them out, make sure you take a floatation aid with you.
If the drowning victim is out of the water but is not breathing, follow the appropriate principles of resuscitation and the Emergency Action Plan of DRSABCD to provide the victim with the best chance of survival. It is vital that Western Australian’s have these skills in order to be able to assist when someone is in need.
Organisations and programs
Injury Matters Drowning Resources
- Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030
- Kidsafe WA – Resources
- Royal Life Saving WA – Youth Water Safety resources
- Royal Life Saving WA – Keep Watch resources
- Surf Life Saving WA – Resources
- Royal Life Saving Society Australia. Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2020. http://ow.ly/1rs850FkzUN (2020).