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Drowning Report 2019


Tēnā Koutou,

The 2019 Drowning Report relies on information from 285 preventable drowning incidents gathered from coronial findings, police and DHB incident reports and news stories from across the country.

We categorised each case according to the nature of the incident; preventable fatality, or hospitalization, age, gender and ethnicity of the victim and nature and cause of the incident, including activity and environment and a host of other factors.

Behind the scenes we analyse the data to look for significant groupings of incidents with similar characteristics that might reveal some underlying cause to the incident.



In 2019 there were 82 recreational (intending to be in the water) and non-recreational (no intention of being in the water) preventable drowning fatalities. This annual drowning report provides statistics and insights based on the 82 incidents in 2019. 

2019 saw an increase of 16, or 24 percent, compared to the 66 preventable drowning fatalities in 2018. The 2019 total is more than the 2014 – 2018 Five Year Average of 79 and less than the 2017 total of 91

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