Toowoomba local Dr Shayne Baker has been recognised at Buckingham Palace by The Queen for his efforts in drowning prevention.
Toowoomba local Dr Shayne Baker has been recognised at Buckingham Palace by The Queen for his efforts in drowning prevention. British Ceremonial Arts Ltd

Toowoomba doctor recognised by The Queen for lifesaving work

TOOWOOMBA'S Dr Shayne Baker has been recognised at Buckingham Palace by The Queen for his efforts in drowning prevention. 

Dr Baker was recently awarded the HRH Prince Michael of Kent Anniversary Certificate of Merit at an official ceremony in London.

The one-off award recognised the contribution of 125 Royal Life Saving Society volunteers, with Dr Baker just one of 27 Australians.  

Commonwealth Drowning Prevention President HRH Prince Michael of Kent said this one-time award was limited to 125 individuals who have provided distinguished services to the Royal Life Saving Society.

Dr Baker said being recognised was a truly humbling experience, and helped acknowledge the collaborative approach of commonwealth representatives to help prevent drowning.

"Importantly we must recognise that drowning continues to kill over 370,000 people every single year, with over 90 per cent low and middle income countries, and over half under the age of 25," he said.

"In Australia and specifically for regional areas like Toowoomba education is key, we must maintain focus on ensuring we are teaching our children how to swim and survive immersion in water, promoting safe swimming practices in all locations - including continued awareness to swim between the flags."

"280 people drowned in Australia between July 2015 to June 2016, with the 66 in Queensland and the main location being beaches followed by creeks." 

"When someone starts to drown survival usually depends on the speed of removal from the water and how quickly proper resuscitation can take place - this is why survival swimming skills, CPR and staying in patrolled areas is essential."

"As we head into the holiday season it important for swimmers to be cognisant of the associated dangers of the water as even the most benign bodies of water hold hidden dangers."

Dr Baker is a former national president of the Royal Life Saving Society, and in 2012 was recognised for his service to the community with an Order of Australia Medal.


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