Aussie men are being urged to stop showing off near the water, as alarming statistics reveal they are drowning at almost five times the rate of women.
New data from Royal Life Saving Society, released on Wednesday, reveals 80 per cent of the 2855 Australians who drowned in the past decade were men.
Of those deaths, 32 per cent involved alcohol and more than one in three occurred in inland waterways, such as rivers, lakes, creeks and dams.
Royal Life Saving Society Australia chief executive Justin Scarr said males drowning under the influence of alcohol aren’t just having a drink or two, they’re “significantly inebriated”.
“They’re about three or four times the legal blood alcohol limit,” he told AAP.
“We find that men, particularly when under the influence of alcohol, are more likely to take unnecessary risks, overestimate their abilities, show off for friends and family and underestimate the dangers our waterways present.”
Alcohol increases the risk of drowning by impairing judgement, reducing coordination and delaying reaction time, Mr Scarr added, with some drownings a result of accidental falls.
Other risks include not wearing lifejackets and swimming alone.
Royal Life Saving’s new advertising campaign “Make the Right Call” urges men to step up and encourage their mates to make safe choices around water.
“We’ve all got mates that are prone to showing off, who drink a little too much around water, so we’re really trying to target men to look after their mates,” Mr Scarr said.
The campaign will run all summer across radio, TV and social media.
Royal Life Saving recommends avoid drinking alcohol around water bodies, wearing a lifejacket when boating or using watercraft and avoid swimming or recreating alone to stay safe.
Australian Associated Press