Drowning deaths rise in WA with males the majority of fatalities

Drowning deaths in Western Australia have increased 11 per cent in the last 12 months with males the majority of deaths.

The Royal Lifesaving Society's national drowning report recorded 42 drowning deaths for WA, with men accounting for 36 fatalities.

RLS's Senior Manager of health promotion and research Lauren Nimmo said the high proportion of men dying in drowning incidents in WA is not just a local problem, with males over-represented in deaths across the country.

"We're seeing most of the increases in adult males aged 25 to 54, and over half of the drowning deaths are occurring in that age group," she said.

"Males are accounting for the majority of drowning deaths. We really do need to work hard at aiming messages at these groups to make them more aware of these dangers."

Ms Nimmo said high-risk activities were a contributing to the drowning rates among Australian men.

"We are seeing high number of drowning deaths in boating related fatalities, rock fishing fatalities and also alcohol related drowning deaths as well," she said.

"There is a level of preventability when it comes to these incidents.

"We need people to assume a bit more personal responsibility for their safety."

Ms Nimmo said the findings served as a reminder that water safety was a big issue in the community.

"We really do need a renewed focus on educating the community," she said.

Another concerning increase is the drowning deaths among children under five, rising 30 percent in the last year.