Adult men have been identified by Surf Life Saving NSW as the most likely to drown after the recent figures showed they were over-represented in drowning figures. Since July 2005, 40 of the 45 coastal drownings in NSW have involved men aged between 18 and 65.
Many people would think that women and children would be weaker swimmers, however the figures clearly show that far more adult men die on our beaches than any other group, said Craig Roberts, from Surf Life Saving NSW. Whether it is a result of over-confidence or other reasons, it is plain to see that if more adult men take the advice of surf lifesavers and swim between the flags, the number of tragedies on our beaches will reduce.
After a spate of drownings throughout the month of January, surf lifesavers are renewing calls for the public to heed their advice and only swim at patrolled areas.
It is easy for people at the beach to decide to swim outside the flags to get away from the masses on days when the beach is crowded, however to do so is to place yourself in unnecessary danger, said Roberts. The red and yellow flags mark the safest area of the beach to swim, and lifesavers and lifeguards are directly patrolling this area for people who may find themselves in trouble.
In the 2005/06 season 28 drownings occurred on the beaches of NSW, with all occurring outside patrol hours, outside the flagged area or on unpatrolled beaches. This season there have already been 18 drownings, and once again, none of these tragedies have occurred inside the red and yellow flags.
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