Locals are being called on to help reduce fatal and non-fatal drownings in the Townsville region.
Residents are urged to take part in a new research survey, as part of the first Australian local water safety plan.
Townsville and surrounds were selected because of the very high drowning rate in the region over the past decade.
According to the Royal Life Saving Society, there has been 33 drownings in Townsville over the last ten years, most of which happened in the Ross River.
Australia National Manager RJ Houston, says the variety of recreational areas in the region, including home pools, public pools, rivers, dams, and the ocean needed to be incorporated in the water safety plan.
“The Townsville Local Water Safety Group was established to guide coordinated activities towards improving drowning prevention in the region,” Mr Houston says.
“Royal Life Saving recognises that drowning is a complex problem and that a range of contributions from collaborators and partners is essential to reducing drowning in the long term.”
James Cook University Professor Richard Franklin urged local residents to get involved in the survey.
“We know rivers and swimming pools remain the leading locations for drowning in Townsville at 52 per cent and 22 per cent of local drownings respectively,” Professor Franklin says.
“Men account for almost three-quarters of drowning deaths in the region, and in more than a quarter of all drowning deaths, alcohol had been consumed.
“Almost 40 per cent of incidents involved an unintentional entry into water, like falling or tripping.”
The survey can be completed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZZQB62J