While across the board drowning deaths are down this year some regions are close to meeting, or have already exceeded, their toll for the whole of 2012.

Figures just released by Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) show there have been 40 drowning deaths in NZ to June 30, 15 below the same time last year (55).

Five of those have been in Northland (one less than its 2012 toll), three in Otago (one more than its 2012 toll) and Auckland is already half way to its 2012 toll (26) with 13.

Canterbury and Taranaki are reportedly the only regions where there have been no drownings.

WSNZ reports that the majority of drownings were male (72%) and more than half (56% n=31) were in beach, tidal water or river environments.

Of concern is that four children have drowned already this year, two of those preschoolers (0-4years). In 2012 we saw a dramatic drop in preschool drownings with only three, albeit three too many.

With six months still to go, we cannot be complacent, and will continue to educate everyone about how to keep themselves and others safer in, on and around water.

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