During what has traditionally been the highest period for preventable drownings, Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) is calling for all Kiwis to be extra vigilant in, on and around the water over Christmas and New Year.
“The water is our playground,” says WSNZ Chief Executive, Jonty Mills. “We want all Kiwis to enjoy the water this summer, whatever activity they participate in. We also want them to come home safely to their families at the end of the day.”
The summer holiday period officially starts at 4.00pm Friday 23rd December and runs through to 6.00am Wednesday 4th January 2017.
“This is a particularly high risk period. Most Kiwis are out playing in the water in some way, shape or form” says Mills.
For the last five years, the average preventable drowning toll during this period has been 7.
“Our overall safety messages remain the same this summer; be prepared, watch out for yourself and others, be aware of the dangers and know your limits” says Mills
“Adult supervision at all times is a must for toddlers. It takes less than a minute for a child to drown. ”
New Zealand has one of the highest drowning tolls in the developed world. Year to date figures indicate that of the 73 preventable drownings so far this year, men make up 88%, with almost a third of this years’ preventable drownings occurring in rivers.
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