Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Confronting new campaign to prevent drownings in Pipes and Drains

The Northern Territory Government and Royal Life Saving NT have today launched a confronting new advertising campaign to prevent drownings in pipes and drains this Wet Season.

Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing Matt Conlan launched the campaign in Palmerston, where 8 year old Richard Baird died in a flooded drain in January this year.

“The Stay Out of Pipes and Drains and Stay Safe this Wet television commercial will leave children, teenagers, parents and the community with no doubt about the potentially life threatening dangers of playing in flooded pipes and drains,” said Mr Conlan.

“It’s a blunt message and a strong warning to stay out of pipes and drains this Wet Season.”

The television commercial was shot using specialised HD cameras to give it a modern feel in order to appeal to children and teenagers. Police, Fire and Rescue and SES volunteers also assisted with the filming, using high pressure hoses to create the dangerous effects of storm drains.

“The ad shows a young boy who falls while playing in a flooded drain and was shot in the point-of-view of the boy to give the commercial as much impact as possible,” said Mr Conlan.

“There have been several near-misses with children having to be rescued from flooded drains recently along with this year’s tragic death of young Richard Baird. I am pleased Richard’s family have thrown their full support behind the new campaign and I hope it helps ensure no more families have to go through their heartache.

“I urge parents to talk to their children about water safety, and ensure they stay out of pipes and drains this Wet Season and cool off in our safe pools and water parks instead.

“The NT has the highest drowning rates per capita in Australia, with 100 per cent of incidents last financial year occurring in the Wet Season and three drowings in storm water drains over the past six years. The Territory Government is committed to reversing this trend and this new campaign will help encourage water safety in the Top End.”

Floss Roberts, Executive Director of Royal life Saving NT welcomed the new commercial and said it was a stronger campaign targeted at children and families.

“The wet season is a high risk time for drowning and it is critical that children know to stay out of pipes and drains. The message is serious and Royal Life Saving NT is calling on families and the community to keep our children safe,” said Ms Roberts who also attended today’s launch.

The Stay Out of Pipes and Drains campaign will run for the duration of the Wet Season in partnership with the City of Palmerston and City of Darwin and includes television and radio ads, posters, school visits and press advertisements. View the new commercial at: www.watersafety.nt.gov.au

Media Contact: Lisa Andrews 0401 579 963