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July Drownings

July Drownings

Five drownings in July have continued the record low drowning toll for this year according to statistics released from Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ). The low overall figure has occurred due to the exceptionally low figures for this time of the year associated with non recreationally activities.

However, Alan Muir, WSNZ Executive Director, has expressed concern over the number of preventable incidents and resulting drownings relating to recreational pursuits. The victims of recreational drownings have mainly fallen into three major categories, swimming, boating and fishing. “The swimming related incidents all occurred in the period up to the end of April, while the boating and fishing incidents have occurred throughout the year. In respect to boating and fishing activities, the number of incidents which have lead to multiple fatalities is an issue. Three high profile incidents in Oamaru, Hawke’s Bay and Horowhenua in recent times had the potential to have claimed up to 12 lives. As it was these tragedies have claimed 6 lives.”

“We urge skippers responsible for boating/fishing trips, to ensure that they take time to properly prepare for all possible eventualities, particularly at this time of the year with extremely cold waters reducing survival times due to the likes of hypothermia and the fluctuating weather conditions.” said Alan Muir.

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