We are fast approaching the summer holidays which as we know will mean huge numbers of visitors to our beautiful local beaches.
With uncertainty around borders and restrictions the majority of those visitors are likely to be Queenslanders. Now, as we all know, Queenslanders have a reputation around the world for our easy-going, relaxed attitude to life. We say “She’ll be right” when we’re not 100% sure on something, but back ourselves anyway.
But it doesn’t matter how fit and young you might feel, the ocean doesn’t discriminate – so it’s time to change our attitudes.
Surf Life Saving Queensland’s 2021 Coast Safe Report revealed Queensland had suffered their second worst year of coastal drownings since recording began, with 20 people tragically losing their lives on Queensland beaches. Of these twenty, 75% were young men between the ages of 20-49 years old.
Alcohol and drugs have contributed to 315 coastal drowning deaths nationally in the last 15 years (2004 – 2019), which accounts for almost one-fifth of all coastal drowning deaths.
90% of drowning deaths last year were male.
The average age of people rescued last year was 24.
“We have noticed a trend in young men undertaking risky behaviour on our beaches,” Surf Life Saving Queensland CEO Dave Whimpey said.
“Men have been swimming at remote locations, swimming at night and also after consuming alcohol.”
So let’s all consider how we can reduce our personal risk when visiting the beach. The key messages include deterring from swimming at night, not drinking and swimming, swimming between the flags, and only swimming at a patrolled location.
“She’ll be right”, won’t save your life. It’s the risks you don’t take that make you safer.
More information: www.lifesaving.com.au