News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Holiday Drowning Toll Down, but Warning Still Out

3 January 2013

Holiday Drowning Toll Down, but Warning Still Out

Three people drowned in New Zealand waters this official Christmas holiday period - between 4pm Christmas Eve and 6am this morning.

And while this is the lowest number of drownings for the Christmas holiday period since 2006-2007, Water Safety New Zealand says it’s still three deaths too many.

“We had hoped to be announcing a zero holiday period toll today and it’s incredibly sad that instead we’re talking about three people that have lost their lives in the water,” says Matt Claridge, Water Safety New Zealand chief executive.

“It’s an absolute tragedy that three families will begin 2013 without a loved one.”

Two of the deaths occurred while the victims were participating in water based recreational activity – one was diving and the other rafting. The third death occurred when the victim entered the surf to help a family member in distress.

Mr Claridge says while it’s positive to see the number of deaths down on previous years - there have been on average ten drownings each Christmas during the past five years – the number of rescues indicate the toll could have been much higher.

“There have been a significant number of extremely close calls and if it wasn’t for others putting themselves at risk – including surf lifeguards around the country and others like Will and Sergio at Waihi – the number of deaths would have been far higher.”

Mr Claridge says with almost a month to go until the end of the school holidays, all holidaymakers need to make water safety a priority, now.

“It doesn’t matter what you’re doing – whether fishing, swimming, boating or just relaxing beside the water – the water safety basics are the same. Watch the weather, keep kids within arms reach, know your limits, don’t drink alcohol if you’re going out on or in the water and use the right safety equipment.”

Parents returning to work also need to ensure that children likely to be spending time at swimming spots are well equipped to keep themselves safe.

Mr Claridge says if anyone needs reminding about how to keep safe in and around the water they should visit www.watersafety.org.nz and familiarise themselves with the water safety code.

“New Zealand has one of the highest drowning rates in the developed world – third only to Finland and Brazil - and this must change. To reduce our shocking drowning toll we need all New Zealanders to learn to swim and survive and to take the necessary precautions when in and around the water. Only then will lives be saved.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Max Rashbrooke: Review - The NZSO And Nature

This was a lovely, varied concert with an obvious theme based on the natural world. It kicked off with Mendelssohn's sparkling Hebrides Overture, which had a wonderfully taut spring right from the start, and great colour from the woodwinds, especially the clarinets. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Prue Hyman On ‘Hopes Dashed?’

For Scoop Review of Books, Alison McCulloch interviewed Prue Hyman about her new book, part of the BWB Texts series, Hopes Dashed? The Economics of Gender Inequality More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Chuck Berry (And James Comey, And Bill English)

Back when many people were still treating rock’n’roll as a passing fad – was calypso going to be the new thing? – Chuck Berry knew that it had changed popular music forever. What is even more astonishing is that this 30-ish black r&b musician from a middle class family in St Louis could manage to recreate the world of white teenagers, at a time when the very notion of a “teenager” had just been invented. More>>

Howard Davis Review:
The Baroque Fusion Of L'arpeggiata

Named after a toccata by German composer Girolamo Kapsberger, L'Arpeggiata produces its unmistakable sonority mainly from the resonance of plucked strings, creating a tightly-woven acoustic texture that is both idiosyncratic and immediately identifiable. Director Christina Pluhar engenders this distinctive tonality associated with the ensemble she founded in 2000 by inviting musicians and vocalists from around the world to collaborate on specific projects illuminated by her musicological research. More>>

African Masks And Sculpture: Attic Discovery On Display At Expressions Whirinaki

Ranging from masks studded with nails and shards of glass to statues laden with magical metal, the works are from ethnic groups in nine countries ranging from Ivory Coast to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news