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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

High drowning risk

29 Oct 2015

Life Saving Victoria is completing a risk assessment of the Melbourne section of the Yarra River, including Docklands, after a report found it had the highest frequency of inland drowning incidents in Victoria.

Life Saving Victoria’s Inland Waterway Drowning in Victoria: 2002-2012 report found that there were nine drowning incidents in the City of Melbourne region of the Yarra River between 2002 and 2012.

The report states that this is the highest frequency of any water body in a local government area in Victoria during the period the report examines.

The report excluded deaths from natural causes, suicide and homicide and focused on unintentional fatal drowning incidents reported in Victoria.

Across the 252 km length of the Yarra River, there were 15 drownings in total between 2002 and 2012, meaning 60 per cent of the incidents occurred within the City of Melbourne.

A Life Saving Victoria spokesperson said due to “ethical reasons” it was unable to identify how many of the incidents occurred in Docklands.

However, Docklands News is aware of at least two drowning incidents in Docklands in the past three years.

According to the report, all of the City of Melbourne drowning incidents involved males, with a median age of 27 years.

Approximately half were born overseas, half were tourists and the incidents occurred between 7pm and 9am.

The report found that alcohol was a contributing factor in nearly all of the drowning cases.

Life Saving Victoria is currently completing the risk assessment of the City of Melbourne area and a spokesperson said a final report would be completed by June next year.

“The assessment will include accessible public land parcels, including the Docklands precinct,” the spokesperson said. “This includes Victoria Harbour Promenade, Central Pier and NewQuay Promenade east of the Bolte Bridge.”

The spokesperson said the risk assessment would include a site assessment, review of historical incidents and stakeholder consultation.

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