Surf Life Saving warning after four drowning deaths in Victoria

Surf Life Saving Australia is warning swimmers after four drowning deaths at an unpatrolled beach in Victoria.
surf life saving warning drowning deaths

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) is warning swimmers to stay alert this long weekend after four drowning deaths at an unpatrolled beach in Victoria.

SLSA says the combination of a long weekend, school holidays, and the summer will make drownings four times more likely during the Australia Day long weekend.

It urged those planning to swim this weekend to follow safety practices like staying between the red and yellow flags.

Drowning deaths

There have been 67 drowning deaths recorded across Australia this summer, up from 57 deaths this time last year.

Men are more likely to drown, according to SLSA data. Beaches are the most common setting for fatal drowning events, followed by rivers and creeks.

Drowning deaths are believed to have increased in recent years as a result of limited swimming lesson access during the pandemic, when an estimated 10 million classes were cancelled.

Victoria drownings

A man in his 40s and two women in their 20s fatally drowned at an unpatrolled beach on Victoria’s Phillip Island on Wednesday.

Another woman was pulled from the water and taken to hospital in a critical condition, where she later died.

CPR was performed on all four people. A police report is now being prepared.

Surf Life Saving Australia warnings

SLSA urges beachgoers to swim between the flags and advised against swimming in locations where no lifeguard is on duty.

Wearing a lifejacket when boating, paddling, or rock fishing has also been recommended, in addition to being vigilant of weather forecasts and dangerous currents.

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