David Warner’s wife and Ironwoman Candice Warner launches Nipper clinic campaign to teach kids surf safety after Aussie drowning deaths soar

Candice Warner is using her high profile as cricket WAG and Ironwoman to help bring an end to Australia’s dire summer in the surf.

Just a week after her husband David Warner fairy tale retirement from his Test cricket career at the SCG, Ms Warner is using her profile to help with a new campaign aiming to reduce drowning deaths on the country’s hazardous, unpatrolled beaches.

Alongside her Nipper daughters Indi and Ivy, she will launch the campaign from Maroubra Beach on Friday morning.

Working with Surf Life Saving Australia, Ms Warner revealed there were 29 deaths in rip currents on Australian beaches last year alone – 16 per cent over the 10-year average.

Already in 2024, there have been 42 drowning deaths, with most coastal drownings involving people getting caught in rip currents.

“Rips can be hard to identify which is why I’m so passionate about teaching kids from a very young age how to respect the ocean,” Ms Warner said. 

“The research shows that nearly 62 per cent, or two in three, of those who think they know how to spot a rip still get it wrong sometimes.”

“That’s why I’ve got my girls Indi and Ivy into Nippers – and they love it.”

Rips are the number one hazard on Australian beaches, but new research from (SLSA) reveals that only 10 per cent of beachgoers say they’re confident they can spot a rip.

Ms Warner’s daughter, aspiring surf lifesaver Ivy, said: “You don’t need to become an expert – the best way to avoid trouble is to swim between the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches.”

In an effort to better train young Aussies on how to be safe in the ocean, and to recruit more young Aussies into the great Australian institution of Nippers (Junior Activities), SLSA has launched a series of Nutri-Grain Nipper clinics across the country this summer.

Reigning Nutri-Grain Ironman Champion Matt Bevilacqua said it was rewarding to see the impact the program was having.

“Kids are so impressionable, and understanding how to handle the ups and downs of the ocean can be some of the most important life lessons t

hey’ll learn,” he said.

“Even if they don’t go on to be Ironman or Ironwoman champion, they’ll know how to enjoy our great Aussie beaches safely.

SLSA chief executive Adam Weir said rip currents were a huge danger to unaware Aussies. 

“We have seen mothers, fathers, friends and strangers going to assist people caught in rip currents, with tragic results including the loss of their lives,” he said.

“In an effort to prevent future tragedies, we are pleased to be working with Kellogg and Candice to help get the message out to all those who visit our coastline”.

Originally published as ‘Respect the ocean’: Ironwoman Candice Warner’s plea as 42 drown in Aussie waters, most in surf rips

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