AUSTRALIA’S coastal drowning deaths are down by roughly a third in the year 2013-14.
The annual National Coastal Safety Report was launched at Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club on Sydney’s northern beaches today by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
It shows there were 84 coastal drowning deaths in 2013-14, down 29% on the previous year, with 19 of those fatalities being people who were swimming or wading.
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Notably, there were no drownings between the red and yellow flags on a beach patrolled by Surf Life Saving volunteers and lifeguards.
More than half of the drowning deaths in 2013-14 (43) occurred more than five kilometres from a lifesaving service.
This represents a significant increase on the previous year and was the highest in the past 10 years.