Drowning message to target ethnic groups

ROYAL Life Saving Society WA tries to get the water safety and drowning message across every summer.

This year in particular, they are targeting young children, people and teenagers from multicultural backgrounds and middle-aged men.

Of the 271 people who drowned last year in Australia, 80 per cent were males.

Thirty-nine people drowned in WA last year, which makes up 14 per cent of all drownings in Australia.

One of the concerning areas according to Royal Life Saving Society WA chief executive Peter Leaversuch were males between 45 and 54 years of age.

He said it was also intriguing that 80 per cent of those who drowned below five were also males.

Mr Leaversuch highlighted that 40 per cent of drownings occur from ethnic people.

“One real challenging thing for us is the changing population with the growing ethnic communities,” he said.

“We are going hard on the swim and survive message and the best thing for us is to get the message across that you don’t have to be an Olympic champion but you do have to look after yourself.”

“A lot of males in the 40-50 category are getting up to activities like buying a boat or canoe and they can’t do what they could when they were younger.”

Surf Life Saving WA has just launched a new website and Mr Leaversuch said he was hoping it was a good way to get the message across to all cultures with basic tips before they try and do water activities.