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Almost 100 people drowned in Australia this summer, more than half of them at coastal beaches, Surf Living Saving Australia has reported.

The body’s summer drowning report found that 99 people had drowned across the country during the summer months, 55 of them at coastal beaches.

The report also revealed volunteer surf life savers had carried out more than 5700 rescues, 25,000 first aid treatments, and 1.3 million “preventative actions”.

surf life saving patrolled beach
A total of 99 people drowned in Australia over summer. (Getty)

Rip currents remain the chief cause of drowning deaths, linked to 29 per cent of fatalities over the summer.

A total of 84 per cent of drowning victims were male, while drownings in regional and remote beaches lifted nine per cent this summer to reach 60 per cent of the total.

Surf Life Saving Australia CEO Adam Weir said many of those deaths were at unpatrolled beaches.

“Surf Life Saving Australia is committed to working with our states to invest in technology that is tailored to the different regions across Australia and can help us target those ‘black spot’ regions where people are visiting but are currently unpatrolled,” he said.

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“We have already seen the impact technology is having on our services with the introduction of drones, emergency response beacons and surveillance systems in some states.

“But we want to be doing more and will be working with our stakeholders to do so.”

Weir said SLSA was working with the University of New South Wales to develop an AI smartphone tool for rip current detection.

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