Number of fatal drownings dropped sharply in 2018, Water Safety NZ says

The number of people of who died in a preventable drowning in New Zealand dropped sharply last year compared with previous years, Water Safety NZ says.

The organisation said in its provisional 2018 report that a total of 68 people drowned last year, compared with 92 in 2017 - a 26 per cent reduction.

The average number of people who drowned each year for the past five years was 82.

Beaches and rivers were the most dangerous spots, with 18 and 13 drownings at each location, respectively.

Males continue to be the most at risk of drowning, with 53 males drowning last year, compared with 15 females.

The Auckland and Bay of Plenty regions had the most drownings, with 13 each, followed by Northland with eight and Otago with six.

Water Safety NZ launched a safety campaign targeting young males in 2016 called The Swim Reaper, which has seen considerable success.

The campaign's Instagram page - @iamtheswimreaper - has now amassed more than 400,000 followers.

Ocean (file picture). Source:

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