A 'Don't Let Your Mates Drink and Drown' campaign has been launched across Australia today, on the back of some staggering stats about male drownings.
Royal Life Saving is behind the program after research found 1,932 Aussie men have drowned in the last decade, one in four involving alcohol.
"And 66% of those alcohol related deaths, the males would have failed a drink driving test before their drowning death"
Craig Roberts, who's head of Royal Life Saving's aquatic risks team, says men are four times more likely to drown than women.
He says the campaign is a simple message of self responsibility, and looking out for your mates.
"Making sure that you're prepared before you go to the water, avoiding alcohol wherever possible and saying to your mates 'enough is enough, maybe we should go home, maybe we shouldn't go for a swim'"
While swimming and surfing are an area of concern, that's not where the campaign will stop:
"For many Australian men an esky of stubbies is just as important on a fishing trip as the bait. We have to change this risk taking behaviour that is causing drowning."
Some previous study identified 10 drowning black spots across the country - including South East Queensland beaches, the Yarra and Murray rivers in Victoria, WA's Swan River and a number of systems in New South Wales including the Macquarie River.
"The fact is that alcohol and water don’t mix. Alcohol impairs your judgement, reduces your coordination and delays your reaction time."
Drowning prevention safety tips
- Avoid alcohol around water
- Don’t swim or take a boat out under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Never go in or on the water alone
- Always wear a lifejacket
- Always be prepared before heading out on the water