With more than a quarter of NSW drowning victims over the past 12 months aged older than 65, a new initiative aims to keep seniors beach safe this summer.
The low impact nature of aquatic activity makes it an ideal form of activity and recreation for older people, but drowning remains a serious risk.
Research from Royal Life Saving NSW shows that in the past 12 months, 57 per cent of the 281 drowning deaths in the state were adults aged 45 or older and 27 per cent were older than 65.
The leading cause of drowning death for people aged older than 65 was swimming and recreating, with falls and boating accidents rounding out the top three.
Royal Life Saving NSW chief executive Michael Ilinsky said the organisation wants people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the summer while remaining safe.
"Participation rates show older Australians are highly motivated to stay connected with their communities, however 75 per cent of people over 65 are under-active," he said.
"The Active Adults campaign will ensure we're providing appropriate water safety education to keep people active, social and safe."
People over 65 are encouraged to follow these five tips to enjoying aquatic recreation:
- Buddy up and share your water recreation time with someone else
- Wear a lifejacket when on the water
- Check any medications you are taking won't interfere with your ability to swim
- Watch your step around water
- Know your limits and avoid taking risks
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