Sociedade Brasileira de Salvamento Aquático – 

Drowning is a major public health problem in Brazil where 16 people die daily, four of them children under 14. Brazil has a very high exposure to aquatic areas used year round, and the one of highest rates of death by drowning in the world.

In 2017 the Brazilian population was 209 million inhabitants, of which 1.1 million died. External causes were responsible for 13% of all death, and the two first reasons between 1 and 44 years old. Drowning was responsible for 5.780 (2.9/100.000 inhabitants) death and was the second leading cause of death for all causes among 1 to 4 years old, third among 5 and 14 years old, and fourth among 19 to 24 years old. The risk of injury in the aquatic setting is estimated to be 5.03/100.000 inhabitants. Pools and bathtubs were of limited importance considering all ages affected, but for those aged 1 to 9 years, 53% of deaths occurred in these venues.

There has been a significant decrease of 39% in drowning deaths from 1979 to 2012, which can be attributed in large part to preventive programs which have been offered by the “Sociedade Brasileira de Salvamento Aquático – SOBRASA”. A recently study in Brazil identified the immense disproportion of the problem of fatal drowning in fresh water. This is partly attributable to the increased provision of lifeguards at major ocean venues. Freshwater venues were responsible for more than 75% of all deaths with a high predominance of males aged 15 to 29. These usually occur in isolated places in the interior of the country, where the deployment of lifeguards is largely infeasible.

SOBRASA is a non-governmental organization and a Full Member of the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS), with a BOD of 44 members, experts on prevention, and lifesaving representatives in all 27 states. Our board of directors is composed of professionals who oversee state funded lifeguard services. They meet twice a year. This network includes more than 100.000 lifeguards and health professionals around the country. Please visit

Sobrasa has been very active in realizing many different prevention projects, and some of them are described below:

  1. Project “POOL+ SAFE” – a prevention campaign to help owner to make their private and public pool safer
    Abstract english
  2. Water safety courses on-line for free.
  3. A cartoon video on beach drowning prevention –, also available in English subtitles and Spanish
  4. A cartoon video on fresh water drowning prevention (rivers, lakes, in-house and pools), also available in English  and Spanish
  5. A cartoon video on FLOOD drowning prevention, also available in English   and Spanish
  6. Comic book – KIM at adventures in fresh Water – a prevention comic book –
  7. The project “Drowning Prevention at Fresh Water” targeting children age 5 to 9 years old: a lifeguard visit to elementary school + Drowning prevention cartoon videos + comic book + refrigerator magnetic with prevention message to children at home.
  8. Surf-save Project – Teaching prevention and lifesaving to surfers –
  9. Aquatic emergency course – Teaching prevention and lifesaving to health professionals (medicine and nursery) and video
  10. Junior lifeguard program – a program on drowning prevention every weekend for children age 15 to 18 years-old. video at
  11. Kids lifeguard program – a program on drowning prevention every weekend for children 5 to 14 years-old.
  12. Prevention banner to download
  13. Pool signalization of water safety
  14. The “Drowning Prevention Seeders” campaign to reduce drowning occurrence by identifying and delivering effective prevention messages in an enjoyable way to young people.
  15. Pool safety graphic material to download for free
  16. 100 Lectures a year on drowning prevention