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Summer of tragedy: The idea to combat Australia’s shocking drowning toll

Article image for Summer of tragedy: The idea to combat Australia’s shocking drowning toll

The devastating finding by a new report showed a drowning occurred every second day on average on Australian beaches over the summer.

There were 49 coastal drownings between December 1 and February 28, and a further 21 deaths attributed to coastal accidents.

To mark this shocking summer of tragedies, the Surf Life Saving Foundation is turning its website black every second day throughout April.

It’s prompted an idea from 4BC Drive fill in host, Spencer Howson, to suggest fining people who don’t swim between the flags.

Surf Life Saving Australia General Manager for Coast Safety Shane Daw encouraged people to swim between the flags on patrolled beaches.

“Over 70 per cent of the cases over Christmas time where a drowning occurred, happened more than a kilometre away from a patrolled location.”

He said there are “inherent dangers within any aquatic environment” and urged people to plan ahead and take responsibility of their own safety.

Spencer suggested people should be fined if they fail to swim between the flags.

“If you are not swimming between the flags, then I reckon you should be fined.”

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Image: iStock

 

Spencer Howson
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