In the ten years from (2005 to 2015) 473 people drowned while participating in some form of boating activities.
In fact boat activities account for 16% of all drowning deaths in Australia.
Boating Death Statistics
Males account for 92% of deaths in all boating activities.
Almost 20% of people (90 in total) in these boating activity deaths were over 65 years of age.
This is closely followed by the 35 - 44 age group who represent 18% of all water activity deaths.
Most deaths (28%) during boating activities occur while fishing with 27% of the deaths occurred while moving.
Small powered vessels under 5 metres feature in a large percentage (21%) of these incidents. Paddle craft (kayaks, canoes, surf skis) were represented (33%) in most of the water activity deaths
Key high risk behaviours feature drugs and alcohol when participating in water activities. 30% of people who died had consumed drugs and 26% (124 people) had alcohol present in their system. Most of these incidents occurred later in the day, most at night.
However, only 8% of the people who died were wearing life jackets at the time of death.
64% of deaths were not visitors to the location.
23% of the incidents involved multiple fatalities, where more than one person drowned.
33% of the people involved in water activity deaths were known to have a pre-existing medical condition, most commonly cardiac-related diseases.
Facts about boating activities
Boating Activities Deadly Locations
Deadly Boating Activities
- 132 (28%) people were fishing immediately prior to drowning
- 127 (27%) people were moving immediately prior to drowning
- 58 (12%) people drowned as a result of falling overboard
State and Territory breakdown
- NSW - 149 (31%) drowning deaths
- Qld - 121 (26%)
- VIc - 57 (12%)
- WA - 63 (13%)
- NT - 12 (3%)
- SA - 33 (7%)
- TAS 34 (7%)
- ACT - 2 (0.4%)