Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Half Year Drowning Toll Lowest on Record

Half Year Drowning Toll Lowest on Record

Preliminary drowning figures show thirty-five people drowned during the first six months of 2014 (to 30 June) – New Zealand’s lowest mid-year drowning toll since records began in 1980.

The figure – which doesn’t yet include any deaths deemed drowning related by the Coroner – is also 35% down on the five-year mid-year average of 43 deaths.

Matt Claridge, CEO of Water Safety New Zealand, says the comparatively low number of drownings is a positive sign that water safety efforts are beginning to make a difference.

“It’s promising to see the number of drownings are declining, especially for some of our high risk groups such as boaties, but there’s no room for complacency. One drowning is one too many and if we are to continue to reduce the drowning toll we need all New Zealanders to make water safety a priority.”

The boating toll year to date is three. This is one third of the five-year mid-year average.

The greatest number of drownings so far this year occurred as a result of an immersion incident (eleven deaths) – this includes falls or slips into water as well as rescuing others. Five people drowned while rescuing others – up on the five-year mid-year average of 0.6.

The highest toll from a recreational activity year to date is swimming (seven deaths), although this is down 42% on the five-year mid-year average.

Rivers are the environment with the highest drowning toll so far this year at nine deaths. However, this is down 36% on the five-year mid-year average. The five drownings in a beach environment year to date are down 67% on the five-year mid-year average - with no Auckland beach drowning fatalities so far this year.

Matt Claridge says while water safety is unlikely to be top of mind during colder months, drowning is a year round issue in this country.

“We need New Zealanders to take the initiative and upskill themselves when it comes to water safety. Always keep small children within arm’s reach around water, make sure your children are learning to swim, and if you’re the skipper of a boat - get yourself educated on safe boating.”

Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton agrees, saying those planning their summer holidays during the coming months should take water safety into consideration when deciding their beach destination.

“Those heading for the beach this Christmas (or anytime) should choose to holiday near a patrolled beach – details can be found at www.findabeach.co.nz – where they can swim between the flags and feel safe in the knowledge there are highly skilled lifeguards on hand.”

Coastguard Boating Education general manager Neil Murray is also encouraging all boaties to use the winter months to complete one of its courses to keep safe on the water.

“Coastguard Boating Education has a range of accessible courses nationwide and we’re currently working on an online Day Skipper course to compliment the popular online VHF course.

“With over 9,000 adults completing a boating education course, and 25,000 certificates issued to young people through the award winning Safe Boating programme in the past year, we look forward to a reduced number of boating incidents this summer.”

Matt Claridge says the organisations making up New Zealand’s water safety sector are working hard to educate and inform, but individuals also need to take responsibility for their own safety.

“In an ideal world I’ll be announcing no change on the half year toll come 1 January 2015, but if that’s to be achieved the entire nation needs to get on board.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news