This Easter long weekend, Royal Life Saving Australia is urging everyone, particularly men to Make the Right Call and look out for each other while holidaying, camping and boating on waterways.

Royal Life Saving research shows each year men account for 80% of drowning deaths across Australia, with alcohol-consumption a significant contributor to drowning.

Between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2020, 2188 males drowned in Australia, accounting for 79% of total drowning deaths during this period, with men aged 25 to 44 being at greatest risk of drowning.

Executive Director of Royal Life Saving QLD, Paul Barry said 1 in 5 of those drownings involved alcohol.

“Alcohol consumption in, on and around waterways increases risk-taking behaviour, reduces coordination, and impairs judgement, and too many Australian men are drowning as a result.”

He added most drowning deaths in men in that age group occurred at unpatrolled inland waterways such as rivers and creeks, accounting for 31% of deaths, more than any other location.

“We think of them as very safe waterways however, more people drown in those locations than at surf beaches, that’s a frightening figure.”

Research also shows Australians are more likely to drown on a public holiday than any other day of the year, with the risk of drowning almost doubling on long weekends.

“The two key periods in the year for drowning are the Christmas holidays and the Easter holidays and we know those periods are times when families come together, whether it’s going to the beach or going camping.”

“It’s at that time when people are relaxing as a group that they’re doing things around water and as a consequence of that, we know people get into difficulty.”

Mr Barry said “the key message this Easter is Make the Right Call, do the right thing. If you’re going near the water don’t go alone. Drink responsibly and if you’re doing anything with boats put on a life jacket and never swim alone.”

Paul Barry’s full interview with NIRS

Royal Life Saving’s ‘Make the Right Call’ campaign highlights a common-sense approach and advocates simple safety tips to prevent drowning:

  • Avoid alcohol around water
  • Wear a lifejacket when boating, kayaking or canoeing
  • Avoid swimming or recreating alone

For more information about Royal Life Saving, visit