Who rescues who? Understanding aquatic rescues in Australia using coronial data and a survey

Franklin, Richard C., Peden, Amy E., Brander, Roberr W., and Leggat, Peter A. (2019) Who rescues who? Understanding aquatic rescues in Australia using coronial data and a survey. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 43 (5). pp. 477-483.

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Objective: To examine fatal drowning associated with aquatic rescues and prior self‐reported experience of undertaking an aquatic rescue in Australia.

Methods: Previous aquatic rescue experience was sourced through the 2013 Queensland Computer Assisted Telephone Instrument Survey and compared to data on rescue‐related fatal unintentional drowning between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2015.

Results: Twenty‐three per cent (n=294/1291) of survey respondents had previously performed an aquatic rescue. Males (X2=35.2; p<0.001) were more likely to have performed a rescue; commonly at a beach/ocean/harbour location (X2=13.5; p<0.001). Females were more likely to have rescued a child (0‐4 years of age) (X2=29.2; p<0.001) from a swimming pool (X2=34.3; p<0.001). Fifty‐one people drowned while performing an aquatic rescue (Males=82.4%; 25–44 years of age=53.0%; beaches=54.9%).

Conclusions: Drownings are prevented by bystanders; this is not without risk to the rescuer. Most people perform only one rescue in their life, often at a younger age, on an altruistic basis, of family members or young children. Community‐wide rescue skills, taught at a young age, with consideration for coastal, inland and swimming pool environments, may prevent drowning.

Item ID: 60589
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1753-6405
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Funders: Royal Lifesaving Society, Australia
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 23:16
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420206 Forensic epidemiology @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420604 Injury prevention @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes @ 50%
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