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On behalf of the National Sea Rescue Institute’s Drowning Prevention department, it is an honour to invite you to help commemorate this year’s World Drowning Prevention Day (WDPD) on the 25th of July 2023. This is the third iteration of WDPD since it was declared officially in 2021 through the United Nations General Assembly Resolution. This advocacy event was declared after the negative implications of the drowning burden on a global scale were recognized.

Why is this day so important? 

Drowning claims the lives of approximately 236 000 people globally. Approximately 90% of drowning incidents happen in low-and-middle-income countries. Research has been consistent with reporting children and socio-economically disadvantaged communities as at-risk groups. In South Africa, an average of 1477 people die annually due to drowning. As a result, WDPD calls for the need for stakeholders around the globe in their respective disciplines to collaborate in evaluating and reiterating appropriate and targeted solutions to reduce the high number of drownings.

The slogan for WDPD is “Anyone can drown, no one should”. This powerful statement serves as a reminder that the process of drowning is… preventable. Furthermore, a call for action has been made:
Do One Thing, Improve One Thing, Add One Thing.
As part of our efforts, we will be taking an active role in promoting this significant day through a series of engaging activities.

Illuminated Landmarks

The focus of this advocacy event is centred around the colour blue, which symbolizes the urgent need for action to reduce drownings. To generate awareness in South Africa, we encourage our communities, especially schools nationwide to participate by wearing blue on the 25th of July. Additionally, we have designated several prominent locations to be illuminated in blue, serving as a tribute to those who have tragically lost their lives to drowning and as a visible commitment to preventing future incidents.

The selected venues include:

Zoo Lake in Johannesburg, Gauteng.
2nd Beach, Port St Johns at Hole in the Wall, Coffee Bay in the Eastern Cape
Whalebone Pier at Umhlanga Rocks in KwaZulu-Natal
NSRI Head Office, located at 2 Longclaw Drive, Milnerton in the Western Cape
Our NSRI Stations in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces

Water Safety Education Lessons Across South Africa

We are forever dedicated to enhancing water safety education across the country. To increase our engagement with the public, we will be introducing the NSRI staff who actively contribute to drowning prevention. Stay tuned for engaging introductory videos that will be shared on our social media platforms.

Furthermore, our proficient Drowning Prevention instructors will be conducting water safety education lessons in different regions. Look out for these enlightening sessions taking place in the following areas:

Zoo Lake in Johannesburg, Gauteng 
East London City Hall and Hole in the Wall at Coffee Bay in the Eastern Cape
Whalebone Pier at Umhlanga Rocks in KwaZulu-Natal
Various schools and the NSRI Head Office in the Western Cape

The NSRI's World Drowning Prevention Day Webinar

In this webinar, various speakers will present on drowning and drowning prevention initiatives, highlighting the World Health Organization's (WHO) policies and practices in this field. In addition, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) will provide perspectives about drowning prevention incidences and a range of key stakeholders will share vital information from their respective fields.

The South African Fatal Drowning Report is an important resource that creates awareness about drownings.  Click below to view the reports from 2016 to 2021.


World Drowning Prevention Day General Inquiries

World Drowning Prevention Day Webinar Inquiries