Risk taking behaviour as a cause of drowning after engagement in swimming and non-aquatic activities

TitleRisk taking behaviour as a cause of drowning after engagement in swimming and non-aquatic activities
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsAvramidis, S, Butterly, R, Llewellyn, DJ
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other Numbers01-02

­Context: According to the 4W model one of the key factors of drowning is the casualty characteristics (Avramidis, Butterly, Llewellyn, 2007). The aim of the study was to identify if risk taking behaviour can lead to drowning after engagement in swimming and non-aquatic activities.

Methods: Qualitative content analysis (QSR, 2002) of drowning incident videos (n = 41), and semi-structured interviews of those involved in drowning incidents (n = 34) followed by the measurement of frequencies and Boolean search with matrix intersection was conducted.

Results and Discussion: Risk-taking behaviour was the cause of drowning in relatively few aquatic accidents (11, 15%). Sensation seekers were willing to take risks that involved psychological anxiety (7, 9%) for satisfying their need (e.g. illegal bungee jump and parachute jump from high bridges etc.) (Franken et al., 1992).

Learning Outcomes
  1. People behave riskily while engaged in activities perceived as controllable by themselves and recognized as risky by others.
  2. High sensation seekers are unrealistically optimistic, take risks voluntarily for satisfying their needs, view the world as less threatening and fearful, expect that the outcome would be less negative, and are likely to report a lifetime history of antisocial behaviour.
  3. Risk taking behaviour can lead to drowning.
  • Avramidis, S., Butterly, R., & Llewellyn, D. (2007). The 4W Model of Drowning. International Journal of Aquatic Research & Education, Accepted Manuscript.
  • Franken, R.E., Gibson, K.J., & Rowland, G.L. (1992) Sensation Seeking and the Tendency to View the World as Threatening. Person Individ Diff, 13(1), 31-38.
  • QSR. (2002). NVIVO, Getting Started in NVIVO. Australia: QSR International Pty Ltd.
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