New Zealand has one of the highest fatal drowning rates in the OECD1. This report is our way of drawing a line in the sand. We, Surf Life Saving New Zealand, are saying “enough is enough”. No more unnecessary deaths from drowning on our beaches and along our coastline.
<strong>NATIONAL</strong> OVERVIEW 10-YEAR OVERVIEW | 2009-19 <strong>NATIONAL</strong> OVERVIEW 10-YEAR OVERVIEW | 2009-19 Each fatal drowning is a tragedy in its own right; it affects not only close family and friends but the wider community. The research presented here aims to report and categorise fatal drownings, to better inform strategic decision making for preventative educational programmes and community engagement initiatives. The following section focuses on fatal drownings that have occured between 2009-19. Between 2009-19 there were 320 fatal drownings. Auckland has the highest number of fatal drownings (n=96), followed by Northland (n=55) and Waikato (n=31). Surf beaches were the most dangerous environment with 125 fatalities, followed by fatalities that occurred 0-1 km from shore (n=51) and within harbours (n=46) respectively. The majority of beach and coastal fatal drownings occurred while swimming/wading (n=71) followed by incidents due to falls (n=65) and boating (n=47). Figure 13 2009-19: Total Number of New Zealand <strong>Beach</strong> and <strong>Coastal</strong> Fatal Drownings per Year (n=320); Comparison of New Zealand vs Australian <strong>Beach</strong> and <strong>Coastal</strong> Fatal Drowning Rates per 100,000 pop. Fatal Drownings (n) 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Fatal Drownings NZ Fatal Drowning Rate AUS Fatal Drowning Rate 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 Year Figure 14 2009-14 and 2014-19 Five-Year Average <strong>Beach</strong> and <strong>Coastal</strong> Fatal Drownings and Average Fatal Drowning Rate per 100,000 pop. 2009-14 AVERAGE DROWNING RATE 0.70 PER 100,000 POPULATION AVERAGE FATAL DROWNINGS 27 PER YEAR 2014-19 AVERAGE DROWNING RATE 0.85 PER 100,000 POPULATION AVERAGE FATAL DROWNINGS 37 PER YEAR The New Zealand beach and coastal fatal drowning numbers and fatal drowning rates per 100,000 pop. for 2009-19 are shown above. The 2018-19 fatal drowning rate per 100,000 population in NZ is 0.70, which is below the 10-year average (0.78 per 100,000 pop.). The New Zealand 10-year average beach and coastal fatal drowning rate per 100,000 pop. is 70% higher than the Australian 10- year average fatal drowning rate per 100,000 pop. When comparing the first half of the decade (2009-14) to the latter (2014-2019), nationally there has been an increase from 27 (2009-14) fatal drownings on average to 37 per year (2014- 19). 1.2 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 Fatal Drowning Rate (per 100,000 pop.) The New Zealand 10-year average beach and coastal fatal drowning rate is 70% higher than the Australian 10-year average, and is on the increase. Figure 15 2009-19: Total <strong>Beach</strong> and <strong>Coastal</strong> Fatal Drownings and Fatal Drowning Rate per 100,000 Population for the 16 Regions (n=320) Between 2009-19 there were 320 fatal drownings. Auckland (n=96) experiences the highest fatal drowning number per region, followed by Northland (n=55). However, Northland had the highest average fatal drowning rate per region (3.29 per 100,000 pop.). Fatal Drownings (n) 100 80 65 40 20 0 AUK NTL WKO Fatal Drownings Average Fatal Drowning Rate WGN Figure 16 2009-19: Age Groups and Gender Represented in <strong>Beach</strong> and <strong>Coastal</strong> Fatal Drownings (n=320) Age groups above 15 years old have a fatal drowning toll over 44. The 35-44 age group has the highest fatal drowning number (n=58). The fatal drowning rate for males is greater than females across all age groups. The 35-44 and 45-54 age groups have the highest Female fatal drowning rates. The 15-24 and 35-44 age groups have the highest Male fatal drowning rate. Fatal Drownings (n) 60 50 40 30 20 10 Male Female BOP CAN HKB OTA STL Region 89% MALE 0 0-4 5-14 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Age More adults are fatally 11% 11% drowning than children FEMALE TKI WTC MWT TAS More males are fatally drowning than females 89% MBH MALE GIS NSN 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 Fatal Drowning Rate (per 100,000 pop.) MALE 11% 89% FEMALE FEMALE SURF LIFE SAVING NEW ZEALAND 22 <strong>NATIONAL</strong> BEACH & COASTAL SAFETY REPORT SECTION TWO FATAL DROWNING ANALYSIS / 10 YEAR OVERVIEW 2009-19 23