Community grants for water safety programs to prevent drownings

NSW Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant has announced that applications are now open for organisations to improve water safety in the community and help prevent drownings in NSW.

Mr Grant said that the release of the Royal Life Saving NSW Summer Drowning Report for 2017/18 reveals that last summer, 36 people tragically drowned in NSW waterways. The NSW Government commissioned the Summer Drowning Report to help inform policy decisions that will reduce fatal and non-fatal drownings.

“As a Government we have been working hard with emergency services, community groups and research bodies to support programs that improve water safety skills and raise awareness about water safety,” Mr Grant said.

“Encouragingly, last summer we saw fewer drownings than 2016/17, with a significant decrease between the Christmas and New Year period. However, there are still far too many families who have been left to mourn the loss of a loved one.  

“Over 80 per cent of those who lost their life to drowning were men, with young males aged 18-24 years the most at risk. We need to keep sending the message to young men that where there is water there is danger.”

The Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program will prioritise initiatives that target high-risk groups and locations identified in the Summer Drowning Report.

This year’s Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program will focus on projects addressing:

·                  Risk-taking behaviour around the water involving young men, and the use of drugs and alcohol;

·                  Rip current awareness / beach safety

·                  Taking safety precautions, such as wearing lifejackets while boating and rock fishing

·                  Highlighting the dangers of swimming at unpatrolled locations;

·                  Aboriginal communities;

·                  CALD communities and international visitors.

“The NSW Government is committed to improving water safety and reducing the number of preventable deaths and serious injuries in the water. We want everyone to enjoy our renowned waterways and return home safely,” Mr Grant said.

Grants range from $25,000 to $250,000, with preference given to collaborative projects between water safety and community organisations.  

Applications for the Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program close at 3pm 27 July 2018.

For information on how to apply, visit:

The Summer Drowning Report 17/18 by Royal Life Saving is also available at:


·                  36 people drowned in NSW waterways between 1 December 2017 and 28 February 2018;

·                  81% of all drowning deaths were male;

·                  22% of drowning deaths occurred in people aged 18-24 years;

·                  36% of drowning deaths occurred at beaches;

·                  25% drowning deaths occurred at rivers, creeks and streams;

·                  11% of drowning deaths occurred off rocks;

·                  44% of drowning deaths occurred while recreating or swimming; and

·                  58% of drowning deaths were not visitors, but locals who drowned within 100 km of home.


Short URL: