Water Safety Month focuses on educating people on the drowning issue, since they must be prepared and cautious when swimming, especially at the summer period or when on holidays.

With the drowning being the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury in global, Surf Life Saving of New Zealand reported 64 drowning deaths for 2019, while last year have drowned 66 people in total.

At the same time, New Zealand added that 25 fatal incidents were seen at the beach from the beginning of the year until now, a slight increase in comparison with the 23 drowning accidents in the previous year.

The Forum includes 24 boating and water safety organisations, involving Maritime NZ, Coastguard NZ, Surf Life Saving NZ, Water Safety NZ, Drowning Prevention Auckland, harbormasters, the Marine Industry Association and many recreational organisations.

In collaboration with the above mentioned organisations, Water Safety Month program aims to significantly reduce the drowning deaths and help people learn how to keep themselves safe.

I think we’re getting better at sharing and working together to get water safety messages out there. But the figures show there is still much work to do.

...said Forum Chair and Maritime NZ Deputy Director of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, Sharyn Forsyth.

In order to spread awareness of the drowning issue, the Coastguard of New Zealand and its Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade campaign, visited 63 locations around the country this summer. Through their visits, maintained the lifejackets and ensured that work properly in case of emergency.

We continue to see lifejackets in all shapes and sizes, some even 50 years old, and what a lot of them have in common is that in an emergency they won’t keep you safe. We need to be out in the community reminding Kiwis that lifejackets don’t last a lifetime.

...noted Old4New Community Ambassador Sue Tucker.

New Zealand's Surf Life Saving recommendations to avoid drowning:

  • Swim between the red and yellow flags on a lifeguard beach, considered the safest place.
  • If you do get caught in a rip, keep in mind and practice the three R’s - Relax and float, Raise your hand and Ride the rip to have the best chance of getting to safety.
  • Think about you and your children's safety and choose a lifeguarded beach.
  • Wear a lifejacket when on a craft.
  • Always check the weather conditions before going for swimming.
  • Take personal responsibility when it comes to water safety and respect the water.
  • Be careful and know your limits, since you can easily find yourself in trouble.