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Five August Drowning Victims

12 September 2006

Five August Drowning Victims

Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) has confirmed there were five fatal drowning deaths last month. There were six drowning deaths during the same month last year. Project Manager Matt Claridge remarks "all five of the August drownings were accidental immersions, considering not many people are in, on or around the water for recreational purposes during the colder months."

Drowning statistics released today indicate circumstances surrounding the drownings were surprising. Three of the drownings occurred in the Wellington region and the remaining two in Napier. All were unrelated.

The five drownings occurred at one of the following; surf beach; calm water beach; harbour; river and the bath.

There have been 19 Recreational drowning deaths for the year to date. This equates to 50% of the annual average (last five years) of 38 for the equivalent period.

Boating related drowning deaths are up on recent years, especially from Powered Craft Over 4m in length, totalling six thus far in 2006.

There have been 53 drowning fatalities for the year to date at 31 August 2006. The toll at the same time last year was 75.

All of the fatalities are tragedies, none more so than the one year old who was swept away after falling into a swollen river whilst playing with an older sibling.

Claridge continues "parents should be reminded of the need to ensure children are well supervised by responsible caregivers near any body of water at all times, and boat owners note, that all gear and equipment is checked and maintained before venturing out onto the water as we head closer towards summer and ideally, great fishing conditions."


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