Combining Efforts to Stop Drownings Launched at Sydney International Boat Show

The Sydney International Boat Show is making water safety a talking point with new partnerships to tackle drownings between Transport for NSW, The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Boating Industry Association.

“The use of lifejackets in NSW has achieved record levels over the past 10 years and that has contributed to a significant decline in drownings,” a Transport for NSW Spokesperson said.

“However, drowning is still the leading cause of maritime fatalities in NSW and further effort is needed to reduce these deaths.”

Transport for NSW and the World Health Organization are delivering an International Lifejacket Forum and a Technical Workshop at the Boat Show aimed at boosting the number of people wearing lifejackets not only in NSW, but globally.

“Each year, more than 360,000 lives are lost to drowning around the world. Many are preventable and lifejackets are an important part of drowning prevention,” said Dr David Meddings from the WHO.  

“The forum and workshop will bring together the lifejacket design and manufacturing industry, standards organisations, public health practitioners and maritime safety authorities to discuss the range of barriers to lifejacket wearing.

“The WHO hopes that the dialogue we begin here in Sydney can lead to a global initiative to address barriers to lifejacket wear, with a particular focus on cost, and contribute to preventing the unacceptably high burden of drowning we see globally, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The more we work together, the more lives can be saved.”

Transport for NSW partnership with the Boating Industry Association will deliver the Safety Zone at the Boat Show along with further collaborations statewide throughout the year to promote boating safety.

An educational and interactive area, the Safety Zone draws together government and non-government safety organisations to promote safe, responsible and enjoyable boating.

The Boat Show is being held through until 6 August at Darling Harbour’s International Convention Centre.

The Maritime Safety Plan targets a 30 percent reduction in serious injuries and fatalities by 2021, moving towards zero in 2056.

The plan can be viewed online at