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Middle-aged men central to Victoria’s shocking summer of drownings

Middle-aged men stand out and a key driver behind a record 26 drownings in Victoria’s waterways in the three months of summer.

The summer toll is 62 per cent higher than the five-year average.

There has already been shocking 42 drownings this financial year, also a significant increase.

Life Saving Victoria told Neil Mitchell that while middle-aged men were over-represented in deaths this summer, the circumstances varied greatly.

“We’re seeing that the incidents are happening right across a number of different age groups but particularly men aged over the age of 45,” Dr Bernadette Matthews said.

“This is different to what we’ve seen in previous years, (which typically features) young children and older adults over 65.

“In some of them alcohol is involved, we’re also seeing pre-exiting medical conditions and also people from different multi-cultural communities.

“There’s no one key thing, so it’s really important to get the broad water safety messages out there.”

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