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While total drownings in NSW dropped this summer compared to the previous year, coastal drownings experienced a 50% increase during the December to February period.

Surf Life Saving NSW joined the Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant and other rescue organisations to thank volunteers for their efforts to keep people safe on our waterways over summer.

Unfortunately 36 people drowned in all NSW waterways and pools this summer and despite the best efforts of lifesavers and lifeguards, 21 of those occurred on the coast, compared to 14 in 2016-17.

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce appealed to people to stay vigilant around the water heading into autumn as total coastal drownings for the financial year are at 30 already, with four months still to go.

“Our volunteers have done an amazing job this summer, rescuing more than 2,200 people from the surf and preventing thousands more from getting into trouble in the first place,” said Steven Pearce.

“Most drownings have occurred at unpatrolled locations and we want to reinforce the message that to keep yourself and your family safe, we need everyone to swim between the red and yellow flags,” he said.

The volunteer patrol season runs until the end of April and many council lifeguard services continue throughout winter.

Go to to find your nearest patrolled location.


Wednesday 7 March 2018