Peninsula high risk for drownings


Wave safety: Lifesavers have highlighted the number of drownings on the Mornington Peninsula and warn that water users should be aware of conditions and recommend swimmers only enter the water between the flags on patrolled beaches. Picture: Keith Platt

FORTY-two people have drowned on the Mornington Peninsula over the past 10 years.

The latest Victorian Drowning Report shows seven of the 43 drowning deaths in the state over the past financial year happened on the peninsula.

From 2005 to 2015, there were also 58 hospital admissions and 82 emergency department presentations due to non-fatal drowning incidents in the area.

Statistics show males are seven times more likely to drown than females, while there is a 99 per cent likelihood of one or more fatal drownings on the peninsula in any given year.

“Living on the beach it is important to be aware of the changing nature of water conditions and not to become complacent around familiar waterways,” Life Saving Victoria’s principal research associate Dr Bernadette Matthews said.

“We have found an overall increase across the state in coastal drownings in the 12 months to July, with 20 deaths which is a 32 per cent increase compared to the average for the previous decade.”

Dr Matthews said it is “important to be aware and prepared for the conditions. We encourage beach-goers to swim between the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches where possible and to read safety signs to understand the dangers,” she said.

“Learn how to spot and avoid rip currents and be aware that conditions can change quickly.”

The report also found that almost one third of the drownings on the peninsula involved people aged 25-44 and the most common activities before drownings were swimming, paddling and wading, boating, fishing and diving.

First published in the Western Port News – 20 December 2016


Comments are closed.