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140 The pattern of drowning on the beaches: records from lifeguards` incident report
  1. Md Shafkat Hossain,
  2. Notan Dutta,
  3. Aminur Rahman
  1. Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (ciprb), Dhaka, Bangladesh


Context Most of the drowning occurred in low-and middle-income countries. In Bangladesh, over 19,000 people die due to drowning.

Process To reduce drowning on the beaches, CIPRB had been implemented a project, SeaSafe, which provided lifeguard service on the three most popular beaches at Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh. The lifeguards maintained incident report forms to capture all the drowning incidents during patrolling hours. The incidents of 2019 were used to analyse the pattern of drowning on the beaches.

Analysis There were 35 drowning incidents that occurred in 2019. Most (n=18, 51%) of drowning incidents happened between 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. 54% of the incidents occurred on Shugondha beach point. Most importantly, 89% of the casualties did not know swimming. Most of the casualties were aged 12–25 years. The males (80%) were the highest number of rescues. 57% of the rescued happened in between red and yellow flags and 40% of the incidents happened within 100 meters from the observation tower. About 74% of the drowning victims were non-local people and 70% of the casualties were in the water with inflatables. No fatal drowning was found in the lifeguarded-beaches during patrolling hours.

Outcomes The vulnerable time is 10:00 am-12:30 pm and young non-local males were the most vulnerable group to drowning. Lack of swimming skills and use of inflatables were the main causes of drowning.

Learning outcomes Lifeguard service is effective and awareness activities are needed to educate tourists on the beaches. Swimming learning needs to be introduced for all ages.

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