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Lockdown Link to 20 Percent Spike in Drownings, 150 Percent Jump in Rescues.

The impact of the pandemic is partly to blame for a 20 percent spike in drowning deaths around Australia in the past year, according to life-saving organisations.

Royal Life Saving Society and Surf Life Saving Australia data revealed 294 people died at waterways and beaches around the country in 2020/2021, compared to 245 in the previous 12 months.

Men continued to be significantly over-represented, making up about 80 percent of drownings

People aged 25 to 34 accounted for the largest number of deaths.

The jump comes despite COVID restrictions limiting the movement of people in some states for months, and blocking the travel of some overseas visitors.

"I guess that makes these statistics possibly even more concerning, because these are locals," Surf Life Saving Australia spokeswoman Donna Wishart said.

"The fact that our drowning stats have gone up when we've not got the usual influx of international tourists and students, perhaps, who have either drowned or had to be rescued … makes these stats even more sobering."

Read more via ABC News HERE

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