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Water Safety New Zealand - January Drownings

10 February 2005
Media Release
For Immediate Release

January Drownings

Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) today released the drowning figures for January 2005. A total of 17 drownings occurred during the month. The average drownings for January during the past five years is 21.

Alan Muir, WSNZ Executive Director said that "bad weather at the beginning of the month, without doubt, has attributed to a lower toll than the average. As is usually the case during the holiday period the majority of the drownings were preventable. An unusual aspect relating to the January drownings were that the majority of the victims were not alone at the time of the incident. We would typically anticipate that the reverse would be the case, where a person has got into trouble and there have not been other people on hand to provide assistance, historically this has been particularly evident with regard swimming, fishing or snorkelling activities".

Such incidents only serve to remind us how powerful and destructive the water can be in any environment and how difficult it is for others nearby to assist, Alan Muir stated.

With much of the summer still to be enjoyed WSNZ is again reminding those involved in water recreation activities to match their skills to the environment when heading in, on or under the water and ensure the supervision of young children is vigilant.


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