Figures from Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) indicate the preventable fatal drowning* toll for the official holiday period (running from 4.00pm 22nd December 2017 to 6.00am 3rd January 2018) is five.
"This is less than last years’ toll for the same period and whilst encouraging, one preventable drowning is one too many and a tragedy for all families and communities involved," says WSNZ Chief Executive, Jonty Mills.
Mills says this years’ number is encouraging in that the sector was bracing for a busy season due to the early onset of summer and warmer weather, together with the broad nature of the drowning problem in New Zealand. "We have very high participation rates across a wide range of water based activities, be it at the beach, rivers, lakes or pools."
Jonty Mills says it’s pleasing no under-fives lost their lives. “2017 has been a tragic one for under-fives with seven preventable fatalities. Hopefully this means the constant supervision message is getting through.”
"The summer holidays go on for a couple more months yet and we know Kiwis will continue to enjoy our beautiful waterways as the warm weather goes on. We need all Kiwis need to take responsibility and think about water safety" says Mills.
“Remember the water safety code. Be prepared, watch out for yourself and each other, be aware of the dangers and know your limits.”
The average toll during this period for the last five years is seven preventable drowning fatalities.
The lowest number for the official holiday period in recent times was two back in 2006 and the highest was eleven in 2008.
New Zealand has one of the highest fatal drowning rates in the OECD. In 2017 there were 92 preventable deaths, all entirely preventable. Each one leaves families and communities devastated.
Our drowning toll is something every New Zealander should see as a national disgrace and one we all have a responsibility to address.
How you can support water safety
The gift of your time to support water safety can be made in various ways. We work with our sector partners, Surf Life Saving New Zealand, Coastguard New Zealand, Swimming New Zealand and other water safety agencies.
Your donation can help children learn vital water safety skills in your community. This can be delivered directly to your nominated school to help cover the cost of water safety lessons or help a school keep their school pool operating.
We can help you raise money for your school through our Aloe Up Sunscreen fundraiser. You raise funds to help cover the cost of water safety lessons or help keep your school pool operating, AND for every sunscreen sold, we also donate funds to your project.
Join our partners in creating social change around New Zealand's water safety culture. Help us make a difference when you support our programmes with cash and/or
This is one of the easiest methods of giving to water safety. Your employer will deduct your regular donation every