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Record high number of drownings for 2020/21 in Victoria
Life Saving Victoria will release the Victorian 2020 - 21 Drowning Report
Life Saving Victoria (LSV) is today releasing the 2020 - 21 Victorian Drowning Report; industry leading research exploring the staggering increase in drowning figures during the past financial year.
Life Saving Victoria is honouring the 61 people who lost their lives to drowning and whose stories make up the report
Statistics contained within the report
The alarming report reveals the tragic circumstances behind Victoria's highest drowning toll in 20 years, noting that young children and men were overrepresented in drownings, and that 48 per cent of people drowned within their residential postcode.
Life Saving Victoria is honouring the 61 people who lost their lives to drowning and whose stories make up the report, including two-year-old Hunter Boyle, with a temporary memorial of 61 rescue tubes erected at Sandridge Beach today.
Legacy to help prevent future drowning
Life Saving Victoria's general manager health promotion and communications Dr Bernadette Matthews said that it's vital Victorians remember that the numbers represent real people who are tragically no longer here.
"While anyone can drown, no one should. Life Saving Victoria is urging the community not to become complacent, and to remember that these are more than just numbers, they are people," Dr Matthews said.
"Our intention in compiling this drowning report is to ensure that part of their legacy lives on to help prevent future drownings in Victorian waters. By examining areas of risk, we can help to inform our safety strategies and hopefully prevent further tragedy moving forward.
Address number of preventative measures
"Life Saving Victoria has been working closely with the government, the water safety sector and the aquatic industry to address a number of preventative measures, in a bid to stop people from requiring assistance in the first place."
Devastatingly, a quarter of the drowning deaths were children aged between zero and 14 years old. "It is even more heart-wrenching to highlight that of these fatalities, 15 involved children aged 0 - 14 years, equating to a quarter of all drownings and accounting for the highest age-specific fatal drowning rate this year," Dr Matthews said.
Hunter Boyle who was just two years-old, when he drowned at the dam on his grandfather's property
Knowing the risks
Ash Napolitano, mother of Hunter Boyle who was just two years-old when he drowned at the dam on his grandfather's property, knows firsthand the heartache that comes when a child is lost to drowning and is urging all parents and carers to know the risks.
"I can't describe the pain that comes with losing our boy, even after a year, it never gets easier. It's surreal to think that he is one of the numbers in this report, because he was and is so much more than that. I can't tell other parents or carers strongly enough, sometimes you can do everything to teach about being safe and it just takes that split second." Ms Napolitano said.
Educate most vulnerable little people
It has been incredibly overwhelming, but I've tried to channel some of this grief into positive change, by setting up the Hunter Boyle Children's Swim Program with the support of Kidsafe Victoria. Piloted in our hometown of Shepparton, our aim is to fund 12 months' worth of swimming lessons and water safety education to vulnerable children between the ages of 6 months - 12 years.
We know we can educate our most vulnerable little people about the dangers of water and support them to learn a life skill," Ms Napolitano said. Life Saving Victoria's message to all Victorians ahead of summer is to remember the reason you want to get back out of the water safely, and to keep kids away from danger.
Invest in water safety
Dr Matthews said, "Do not become a memory, please remember that a moment of distraction can lead to a lifetime of heartbreak. Actively supervise children around water in the home and when at the beach, river or pool."
"Stay safe by learning swimming, water safety and lifesaving skills, always seek out patrolled beaches and swim between the red and yellow flags. If boating or rock fishing, wear safety gear such as a fully-functioning, approved life jacket and gripped shoes, and remember that drugs and alcohol don't mix with water." Dr Matthews said.
Life Saving Victoria kicked off an extended life saving patrol season on Saturday 27 November, supported by the Victorian Government's largest ever investment in water safety. To find patrolled locations this summer visit beaches near you.
Pictures from Live Saving Victoria website.
Published by: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Upgrades to early childhood education centres and specialist equipment to help improve learning outcomes.
- Andrews Labor government mismanagement of major projects raises red flags to regional Victoria when hosting 2026 Commonwealth Games
Long-term strategic planning of a 2026 Commonwealth Games will be crucial if regional Victoria is to reap the full benefit of infrastructure upgrades and promotional activities that the event will require.
- Gippsland small and medium businesses can partake in $400 million of support from 'Victorian Business Support Package'
A new jointly funded package from the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments will give Victorian small and medium businesses the extra support and confidence they need to recover from the recent lockdown.
- New report more evidence that immediate change needed to better Victorian children mental health
New data today has painted a harrowing picture of the deteriorating mental health of young Victorians.
- Andrews Labor government plans to release dingoes into Victorian parks
The Victorian Liberals and Nationals vehemently oppose a plan from Labor and greens groups to introduce dingoes into state and national parks in Victoria.
- Latrobe Regional Hospital gets $217M funding for its expansion through the Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA)
Latrobe Regional Hospital expansion means additional facilities that will give support to the region's increasing and complex health demands.
- Wonthaggi Guide Park redevelopment gets $700,000 from Sports and Recreation Victoria and $350,000 from Growing Suburbs Fund
Work is set to get underway on the redevelopment of Guide Park in Wonthaggi, which will see the creation of a regional scale playspace for the community.
- Tutor program to continue in schools across Eastern Victoria until 2022
The Victorian Government will make sure that not one school student across Eastern Victoria is left behind in the wake of the pandemic, with the state's extraordinarily successful tutor program to continue until the end of 2022.
- LED lights to be installed at Darnum Recreation Reserve with $200,000 funding from Victorian Country Football Netball Program
The AFL Oval and Netball Courts at Darnum Recreation Reserve will soon undergo much needed upgrades with the installation of new light towers and LED light fittings throughout the facility.
- Calls for more caution after four people drown in Victoria at beginning of 2022
Water safety authorities are warning everyone to be smart and safe around the water to avoid turning holidays into casualties.
- Expanded free TAFE turbocharges post-covid Victoria and Gippsland
Additional TAFE courses ensuring appropriate training for Victorian job seekers.
- Redevelopment underway in Guide Park in Wonthaggi with $700,000 from Sports and Recreation Victoria and $350,000 from the Growing Suburbs Fund
Work is set to get underway on the redevelopment of Guide Park in Wonthaggi, which will see the creation of a regional scale playspace for the community.
- Neerim South War Memorial restored with support from the Victoria Remembers Grant Program
Baw Baw Shire Council has completed restoration works on the War Memorial in Neerim South.
- Free camping at Omeo Recreation Reserve until 17 April 2020 as Omeo Caravan Park reopens for Easter
East Gippsland Shire Council remains committed to having the Omeo Caravan Park reopened in time for Easter.
- Proposal to improve pedestrian safety at St Ita's Primary School to Regional Roads Victoria endorsed by Baw Baw Shire Council
Council proposed pedestrian school crossing at St. Ita's primary school.
- Russell Northe argues for more funding projects in Latrobe Valley be included in Andrews Labor government Victorian 2022-23 budget
Member for Morwell, Russell Northe says he is hopeful of a number of projects in the Morwell electorate being funded through the state governments budget which is handed down next Tuesday 3 May.
- Statewide lockdowns Labor government are killing communities across Victoria including Gippsland
Decision to call for state lockdown keeps bringing Victorians out of work and resources.
Latest NewsForest Park in Orbost gets $1.82M funding upgrade after the community consultation
Gippsland Veterans Welfare Centre in Sale receives $2M facility upgrade from federal government
More than $110,000 funding goes to community groups via Community Assistance Grants program from Wellington Shire Council
Pet registration door knocking campaign by Regi-check ambassadors to commence in Baw Baw Shire
Community feedback wanted on East Gippsland Council draft 2022-23 budget
Help for local event organisers and businesses from Bass Coast Shire Council thanks to $10,000 grant from LVA
Latrobe City joins celebration of National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June 2022
Local artists Jessie McLennan, Rebecca Vandyk-Hamilton and Jeannie Haughton make 'Three Women on Kurnai Country' sculpture
More axed jobs to come in agriculture research and development leaving Victorian farmers less productive and sustainable
People with an eating disorder to get more support with $20M funding from Victorian government