A new water safety campaign launched today aims to reduce the number of drowning deaths occurring in Australian rivers.

Minister for Health and Sport, Sussan Ley, said the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia’s (RLSSA) ‘Respect the River – Saving Lives in Australian Rivers’ campaign is part of ongoing efforts to promote
water safety and save lives.

“The Turnbull Government is committed to ensuring our waterways are a safe place for our community”,
Ms Ley said.

“In 2014 we committed $4 million over four years to assist the Society’s ongoing effort to reduce
drownings in inland waterways, with the goal of reducing deaths by 50 per cent by 2020.

“While last year saw the second lowest number of drowning deaths in 13 years, nationally 271 people
still lost their lives with inland waterways continuing to be over-represented (99 deaths).”

Ms Ley said the new campaign would remind swimmers, boaters, fishers and kayakers through targeted media and direct engagement, to be aware of their surroundings and understand the risks posed by rivers, dams and other inland waterways.

“A few simple steps can help save a life – wearing a life jacket, not consuming alcohol before swimming, boating or fishing, learning CPR and never swimming alone can make all the difference.”

More information about the Respect the River – Saving Lives in Australian Rivers campaign is available at www.royallifesaving.com.au