Table 2 Person-related factors for swimmer and surfer drownings at Australian surf beaches from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2005 (n = 129)
Candidate risk factor (source of data)Case count (%*)
Underlying medical condition or injury sustained before drowning (NCIS/IRD)
    No condition identified84 (65)
    Cardiovascular condition34 (26)
    Head or spinal injury6 (5)
    Other medical condition5 (4)
Drugs/alcohol implicated in drowning (NCIS/IRD)
    Nil indicated118 (91)
    Implicated11 (9)
Proximity of residential address to the Australian coastline (NCIS/IRD)
    Within 10 km56 (43)
    Between 10 and 50 km28 (22)
    Over 50 km2 (2)
    International tourist†32 (25)
    Address not recorded11 (9)
Swimming ability(NCIS/IRD)
    Competent swimmer7 (5)
    Able to swim5 (4)
    Unable to swim1 (1)
    Not recorded116 (90)
  • *Errors in totals due to rounding.

  • †Includes international tourists identified as residing for less than 1 year in Australia.

  • NCIS, National Coroners Information System; IRD, Incident Report Database.