The Reason

Jurien Bay

Drowning deaths and non-fatal drowning incidents continue to occur in the Wheatbelt region and have raised awareness about the importance of water safety education and training.

Between 2009 – 2019 there were 9 drowning deaths in the Wheatbelt, which was the 8th highest drowning rate in WA. A further 37 people were hospitalised following a non-fatal drowning incident.

Diving was the top activity which led to these incidents (33%), followed by boating (22%) and swimming (11%). The top locations where these incidents took place were:

  • Ocean/harbour (33%)
  • Beach (22%)
  • Home Pool (22%)

Contributing factors were:

  • Poor swimming ability (44%)
  • Environmental factors e.g. poor weather/water conditions (22%)
  • Participating alone (22%)
  • Lack of supervision by a responsible adult (22%)

The drowning risk in the Wheatbelt region is the highest among toddlers 0-4 years and young people 15-24 years. 72% of those who drowned were male.

85% of incidents involved people born in Australia, with more than half of the fatal incidents (56%) involving a visitor to the area. This is higher than overall state trends.

Priority areas for drowning prevention include:

  • Males - are 2.2 times more likely to drown than females in the Wheatbelt region
  • Toddlers aged 0-4 years
  • People swimming alone
  • Adult supervision of young children
  • Swimming ability

You can download our snapshot of drowning data in the Wheatbelt region below.

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