New strategy to help Victorians stay safe by the water

20 December 2021
family stands by the shoreline

Victoria’s new Water Safety Strategy 2021-25 has been launched, with a focus on shared responsibility between people managing and using the state’s water environments, including pools, beaches, rivers, lakes and dams.

The strategy recognises that everyone - communities, local government, State Government departments and agencies - need to work together, and that each has an important part to play in ensuring safety in and around water.

In particular, the strategy responds to the significant recent rise in the number of people drowning in Victorian waters – up to 61 in 2020-21 - with the goal of driving those numbers down to zero, while Victorians continue to safely enjoy water-based recreation.

The strategy maps out steps to address challenges raised by the growing number of people visiting the water, pressure on water safety education programs, and people using recreational vessels without the right skills and experience. Its completion followed extensive consultation and input from government, water safety stakeholders, and the community.

Victoria’s annual water safety campaign is also running this month, which includes an advertising program targeting men aged 25-64. Four out of five drowning deaths in Victoria over the past decade have come from this group.

The advertising campaign warns men not to think of themselves as an ‘Unsinkable Guy’. It responds to research indicating men are more likely to focus on the risks of their children drowning and the danger posed for other people in and around water, than the risk of drowning themselves.

The Government is also supporting the extension of the lifesaving season in 2021-22.  

Read the Water Safety Strategy 2021-25 (External link).