Surf Life Saving Australia will host the organisations’ inaugural Coastal Drowning Prevention Forum this weekend (June 23-24) at the Novotel Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.
The Coastal Drowning Prevention Forum will combine lifesaving, research and public education teams with external experts to facilitate the transfer of knowledge. The purpose is to share the latest research, identify key issues and requirements to prevent coastal drowning deaths working towards our mission of zero preventable drowning deaths in Australian waters.
Emerging issues, new technologies, the role of SLS beyond the flags and public education will be discussed to identify opportunities and possible mitigation strategies.
Highlighting the importance of the Forum, SLSA National Coastal Risk & Safety Manager Shane Daw said “Responding to coastal injuries, drowning and deaths is a main priority of Surf Life Saving.
“The simple fact is any loss of any life along our coast should not be seen as acceptable. All who have chosen to attend have done so with a common goal, which is to explore and come up with ideas that will make a difference. That difference could save a life.’
“With 152 coastal fatalities recorded for 2016/17, SLS is leaving no stoned unturned as it works towards zero preventable coastal deaths”
The forum will see 75 people attend from across Australia and New Zealand, with expertise in lifesaving, lifeguarding, research and education. Representatives will include all State Surf Life Saving bodies, Surf Life Saving New Zealand as well as external experts from the University of NSW, the Bureau of Meteorology, Griffith University and the Coroner's office.
This is the first time Surf Life Saving Australia has brought such a diverse group together to share information and knowledge on drowning prevention. The forum outcomes will feed into SLSA's strategy on the prevention of injury and fatalities along our coast, and results will be incorporated into the SLS coastal drowning prevention strategy for the next five years.