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Drowning stats spark warning

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Royal Life Saving research shows we're more likely to drown on a public holiday than any other day of the year, with the risk of drowning almost doubling.

Those in the south are being reminded this Hobart Show Day to be careful around water, with many expected to head to the beach or inland waterways.

Royal Life Saving Tasmania highlights people often travel to unfamiliar locations on public holidays – including inland waterways.

Karina Siggins says men are more at risk of drowning than women and are being urged to look out for their mates while holidaying, camping, and boating on rivers and lakes.

“Given that we’ve had a winter of COVID-19 restrictions, we know that many people will be keen to make the most of public holidays. Of course, we want people to get out and have fun with family and friends, but our message is simple: love the water, enjoy the water, do it safely. Drowning is preventable. Men taking risks and overestimating abilities continues to be our greatest challenge," she said.

"Over 80% of alcohol-related drowning deaths are male, with people aged 25 to 44 being at greatest risk of drowning. The findings show that most people who had consumed alcohol did not intend to be in the water and drowned following an unintentional fall into water."

Royal Life Saving advises people to:

· Avoid alcohol around water. Stay out of the water if alcohol has been consumed. It is best to participate in aquatic activities before drinking any alcohol and not re-enter the water afterwards.

· Wear a lifejacket when boating or using watercraft. In the case of an emergency, wearing a lifejacket can increase a person’s chance of survival by 50%.

· Avoid swimming or recreating alone. This means that there will be someone around to call for help, if required.