Generic photo of a rock fisherman at Avoca beach on the Central Coast. Two men drowned while fishing on the rocks at Avoca beach on 06/02/2006.
Generic photo of a rock fisherman at Avoca beach on the Central Coast. Two men drowned while fishing on the rocks at Avoca beach on 06/02/2006.

Why men are more likely to drown than women

Aussie men are being urged to stop showing off near the water, as alarming statistics reveal they are drowning at almost five times the rate of women.

New data from Royal Life Saving Society, released today, reveals 80 per cent of the 2855 Australians who drowned in the past decade were men.

Of those deaths, 32 per cent involved alcohol and more than one in three occurred in inland waterways, such as rivers, lakes, creeks and dams.

Men are being urged not to over-estimate their abilities around water.
Men are being urged not to over-estimate their abilities around water.

Royal Life Saving Society Australia chief executive Justin Scarr said males drowning under the influence of alcohol aren't just having a drink or two, they're "significantly inebriated".

"They're about three or four times the legal blood alcohol limit," he said.

"We find that men, particularly when under the influence of alcohol, are more likely to take unnecessary risks, over-estimate their abilities, show off for friends and family and underestimate the dangers our waterways present."

Alcohol increases the risk of drowning by impairing judgment, reducing co-ordination and delaying reaction time, Mr Scarr added, with some drownings a result of accidental falls.

Other risks include not wearing life jackets and swimming alone.

 

 

Royal Life Saving's new advertising campaign "Make the Right Call" urges men to step up and encourage their mates to make safe choices around water.

"We've all got mates that are prone to showing off, who drink a little too much around water, so we're really trying to target men to look after their mates," Mr Scarr said.

The campaign will run all summer across radio, TV and social media.

Royal Life Saving recommends avoid drinking alcohol around water bodies, wearing a lifejacket when boating or using watercraft and avoid swimming or recreating alone to stay safe.



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