Media Release

Surf lifesavers urge swimmers to put safety first on World Drowning Prevention Day

Sunday, 25 July 2021

On the inaugural World Drowning Prevention Day (25 July), Surf Life Saving Queensland is calling for all beachgoers to put their safety first.

Since 1930, 149,853 people have returned home to their loved ones after being rescued by Queensland surf lifesavers and paid lifeguards.

SLSQ Lifesaving Services Manager Peta Lawlor said the day is a reminder for all Queenslanders to think about what they can do to prevent drowning.

“Our surf lifesavers volunteered more than 295,000 hours over the past year safeguarding swimmers at our beaches,” she said.

“While our lifesavers and lifeguards do a tremendous job, everyone has a role to play in preventing drownings.

“If you are heading to the beach please only swim between the red and yellow flags, surf with a mate and always keep children within an arm’s reach.”

World Drowning Prevention Day resulted from the historic first United Nations Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention which was adopted in April 2021.

Ms Lawlor said Surf Life Saving Queensland works tirelessly to reach their mission of zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters.

“Throughout the past 12 months volunteer surf lifesavers and lifeguards have performed 717,431 preventative actions,” she said.

“Many of these actions were alerting swimmers outside flagged areas of the dangers and directing them to the safety of the red and yellow flags.

“Our Community Awareness team also engaged with more than 118,000 people through water safety educational programs.”

The global advocacy event serves as an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities and offer life-saving solutions to prevent it.

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