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Drowning Toll Ready To Spring

5 September 2003
Media Release
For immediate release

Drowning Toll Ready To Spring

Five drownings in August have continued the record low drowning toll for this year according to statistics released from Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ). A total of 65 people have now drowned to date this year.

Unlike the road toll, it does not appear that drownings have reached a plateau following the record low of 120 drownings in 2001. Alan Muir, WSNZ Executive Director, stated that there are still gains to be made. However, it will only take one or two incidents to dramatically change this.

“Three people drowned in one boating incident in August, more than half of the drowning toll for that month and if previous years are anything to go by, the drowning season starts in spring and steadily builds to a high during the summer months”.

The average number of drownings between September and December over the past five years is 43.

“This would take the total drowning for 2003 to around 110 which would be the lowest on record. However, this also relies on sustaining the gains that have been made over the past decade” said Mr Muir.

“Education programmes and public awareness campaigns by the water safety sector have had considerable success over recent years, but ultimately it’s about individual and shared responsibility to ensure a fun days participation in water based activities is also a safe day.”


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