Member for Roe Peter Rundle has urged everyone to stay safe over this long weekend, as Australia experiences a surge in drowning deaths.
Figures released by the Royal Life Saving Society of Western Australia show a 50 per cent increase in drowning nation-wide, with 77 drowning deaths recorded since the beginning of December 2018.
“We’ve experienced a stunning summer, and Western Australian’s have flocked to their local beach, river or dam but everyone needs to remain alert to keep themselves, their friends and their families safe,” Mr Rundle said.
Alcohol-related drowning and injury continues to be a concern, with data released from Royal Perth Hospital revealing 20.2 per cent of patients presented to hospital as a result of a water-related activity had consumed alcohol or drugs prior to their injury.
Data from the Royal Life Saving Society shows that 35 per cent of drowning deaths are contributed to by alcohol.
Mr Rundle said this was very concerning.
“You don’t drink and drive, and you don’t let friends drink and drive,” Mr Rundle said.
“We need to take the same care while swimming or boating. Watch out for your mates, and make sure we keep each other safe.”
Royal Life Saving WA suggests the following water safety tips:
- Actively supervise children in and around water;
- Wear a lifejacket;
- Avoid alcohol around water;
- Never swim alone; and
- Check for currents and depth of water before entering
Double demerits are also in place until midnight Monday 28 January, and Mr Rundle urged everyone to be safe on the roads as well.