The Coastal Safety Brief – Boating
The Coastal Safety Brief – Boating, identifies that coastal drowning deaths while boating is the second highest activity undertaken when a drowning occurs.
There have been 340 coastal boating-related drowning deaths between 2004-2019, which is an average of 23 drowning deaths per year. There have been a further 232 fatalities that were not drowning-related, equating to a total of 572 boating fatalities between 2004-19.
Recreational boating is consistently the second highest coastal drowning activity nationally (following swimming & wading), however it is ranked first in both Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Between 2004-19, more
than half (53%) of all coastal boating drowning deaths were known not to be wearing a lifejacket. However, this number could be much higher with 32% remaining unknown. Lifejackets clearly positively impact the outcome of boating incidents yet are rarely worn as recommended. Currently, legislation is state-based and varies according to each state.
Surf Life Saving Australia collaborates with the Australian New Zealand Safe Boating Education Group (ANZSBEG) to develop educational interventions to increase the wear rate of lifejackets. Representing the key stakeholders in recreational boating safety across Australia and New Zealand, ANZSBEG is an excellent example of a cross jurisdictional collaboration working to establish consistency across key educational messages such as the International Lifejacket Principles initiative.
Read the Coastal Safety Brief – Boating here.