Half of all drowning deaths recorded in WA are adults aged 45 years and over. We know that Aussies have grown up around water and have their own tips and tricks around the water but anyone can drown, regardless of age, skills or experience. It's important that you’re aware of the risks and know how to identify dangers for yourself and others. Water can overpower you, sometimes when you least expect it. By making good decisions around the water, then you can be prepared to have fun, safely! 

Before jumping in, setting sail or casting a line...Make The Right Call.  

Keep yourself safe with these four key actions. 

Know the conditions

Always check local weather and water conditions before heading off into the water. Chat to locals and ensure you choose a safe spot to swim, fish or boat. Make The Right Call.

Know your limits

Alcohol and water don't mix! 

While a cold drink may be appealing on a hot day, it's best to avoid alcohol when you're around the water. Alcohol can lead you to behave in a way you normally wouldn't. It can increase risk-taking behaviours and impair reaction time and judgement. It's better to leave the booze until you're safely away from the water. Avoid the tins before getting in and stay off the beer before casting off the pier. Make The Right Call.

Stay capable, stay afloat

Regardless of how much time you might have spent around the water, physical limitations can develop as you age which may affect your safety around the water. It's important to be conscious of changes in your physical fitness, medical conditions and the effect of medications before you jump in. Make The Right Call.

  • Chat to your doctor - tell your doctor that you are exercising and ask for a health check to ensure you are ready to go.
  • Consider the effects of medication - talk your pharmacist or doctor about whether any of your medications will affect your ability to be physically active.
  • Talk to the lifeguards - if you have a medical condition or don’t feel as fit as you used to, let the lifeguard know before getting in.
  • Swim in a supervised area - when it comes to safety, socialising and support there’s no better place to swim than your local aquatic centre.

Know the gear

Wear a lifejacket when on the water

Having a lifejacket on your boat is a great first step, but it can't save your life if you're not wearing it! Every year lives are lost in recreational boating incidents. Tragically, many could have survived had they been wearing a lifejacket, especially in smaller boats. With discounted, slimline lifejackets available through the Old4New program and lifejackets available for loan from RecFishWest, there is really no excuse not to wear one! You wouldn’t drive without a seatbelt, so why would you go out on the water without a lifejacket? Make the Right Call. 

Take a mate

Males are more likely to participate in aquatic activities alone and get themselves in a sticky situation. Going by yourself is risky. The water can be overpowering and if things go sideways, having a pal there could save your life. Maybe we think ‘nothing will happen to me’ but no fishing trip or joy ride is worth is worth your life. Plus, taking a mate (or two) is lots more fun, safer and you can share the catch! Make The Right Call. 

Know what to do

If something goes wrong in or around the water, being empowered with the skills to respond could save a life. Learn lifesaving skills and call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Make The Right Call.

Royal Life Saving has a number of programs available to support you: 

Grey Medallion

The Grey Medallion program is a water safety and lifesaving skills initiative for older adults. It aims to encourage a healthy, independent and active lifestyle through the development of essential skills in order to participate in aquatic recreation activities safely.

This practical program covers personal survival techniques, improved swimming skills, skills to deal with emergency situations and water safety knowledge.

First aid and CPR

Gain the knowledge and skills to administer first aid until medical help arrives. Anyone at any time may need to give urgent assistance and a Royal Life Saving First Aid and/or CPR course will equip you with the necessary skills. Enrol online today.