In 2002 world experts in clinical medicine, injury epidemiology, education and rescue developed an internationally accepted definition for drowning. Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/ immersion in liquid (International Life Saving Federation, 2002).
New Zealand's Drowning Problem
With any water comes risk and sadly every year far too many people lose their lives or are injured in, on or around the water. The tragedy is that most drownings and injuries are preventable.
Of the 105 drownings (both recreationally and otherwise) in New Zealand in 2017, 92 were preventable.
Drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death in New Zealand – after motor vehicle accidents and falls.
Males are four times more likely to drown than females, and people across all age groups lose their
Immersion incidents, where the victims had no intention of being in the water, remain the largest cause of drowning, followed by incidents where people simply went for a swim.
Hospitalisations are non-fatal drownings resulting in a hospital stay of at least 24 hours.
From 207 in 2016, there were 148 in 2017 – a 29 percent decrease and a 20 percent decrease on the five-year average (2012 - 2016).
WSNZ gives no warranty as to the correctness of the information or the data provided as it is supplied to WSNZ by third parties under its control. While WSNZ is satisfied as to its accuracy for the purposes for which it is supplied to it, WSNZ shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising directly or indirectly from the use of any data supplied. All reported statistics are provisional.