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Abstract

The aim of the current study was to identify the casualty characteristics that contribute to drowning according to the 4W model (Avramidis, Butterly & Llewellyn, 2007, 2009). Qualitative content analysis was utilized to analyze drowning incident videos (n = 41), and semistructured interviews of those involved in drowning incidents (n = 34). Results confirm that human activity in, on, and around an aquatic environment can lead to drowning, regardless of the casualty’s type, gender, age, ethnicity, and area of residence. Males far outnumber females as drowning victims. Younger persons were more likely to drown than were adults. Due to socioeconomic differences, Black people in our sample were likely to drown more often, while Whites who drowned were engaged in aquatic activities that lower socioeconomic individuals likely cannot afford or have access to. Nonswimmers, casualties who have lost consciousness, and nonresidents to specific aquatic environments also were the ones in the highest danger.

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