Skip to Content

Water Safety NZ - Tis The Season To Remember Water Safety

Last summer, ten New Zealanders drowned between 4pm Christmas Eve and 6am January 5th. In a year that has already seen 117 Kiwis lose their lives to drowning (30 more than last year’s total figure), Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) is calling for caution and reminding holidaymakers about the basic water safety precautions.

WSNZ’s chief executive Matt Claridge says the drowning toll for the year to date is unacceptably high.
“Our drowning death toll has been in decline over the past two decades, but - tragically – this year the trend has reversed.”
“Many deaths can be avoided if people behave responsibly and remember the safety basics. With thousands of New Zealanders flocking to beaches, lakes and rivers during the holiday period, we’re asking people to use their common sense and make safety the first priority when in and around the water.”
Historical trends suggest that it will be boaties, divers, fisherman and swimmers who are most likely to feature in drowning incidents through the holiday period.
“Wear life jackets, check the weather forecast, stay within your limits, don’t swim alone and avoid alcohol. It’s not rocket science but it could save your life,” Mr Claridge says.
Children are particularly vulnerable, and of last year’s ten Christmas/New Year period deaths two were children aged under five. This year there have been 14 preschoolers drown in New Zealand, he says.
“Caregivers need to provide active supervision, that is always keeping their child in line of sight and close enough to be provided with immediate assistance if required. We encourage parents to enjoy the water with their children and take the opportunity to further their child’s water safety education.”
Mr Claridge says the organisation has put together a reminder of its top tips for safe water recreation these holidays, in the hope that they will save lives.
“We’re hoping New Zealanders will remember the safety basics and have a lot of fun in the water this summer. No more unnecessary tragedies please.”

• Stop and think before entering the water – am I acting safely
• Actively supervise the kids – keep them within sight and arms reach, at all times
• Stay off the booze – alcohol and water activities don’t mix
• Don’t swim or dive alone – take a buddy
• Check the marine weather forecast’s good – before heading out on the water
• Always wear a lifejacket when you’re boating
• Know your swimming ability and stay within your limits
• If the red and yellow flags are on the beach – swim between them
• Check how deep the water is before diving or jumping in
• Learn to swim – if you start now, you’ll be ready for next summer

| DeepFried.TV - forums - news | - webcams - winds | wiNZurf - locations - archive |