Global Drowning Tracker Update: November 2014

Without a doubt, The Global Drowning Tracker© (GDT) has been ISLA’s most ambitious undertaking to date. It’s also the project that proved to the world that we’re not just a band of young lifeguards, but a talented and passionate team of activists that can perform at a professional level.

With regards to the current status of the Drowning Tracker… It’s a fully functioning prototype! There are technical issues with the current software handling hundreds of thousands of entries per year, however the major challenge is having a team of people on the back-end validating and approving entries as required by the system. With all of ISLA’s current humanitarian operations, approving and updating current entries in the GDT has been an overwhelming venture for our ISLA volunteers.

ISLA can without a doubt, build the next version of the Drowning Tracker and hire a team to keep it operational, but it would require having the system managed by a professional staff (not volunteers) and that requires funding. It would cost us an estimated $500,000 USD to develop and launch Version 2.0 of the GDT, and approximately half that amount every year, to hire a staff to maintain/operate the system. ISLA is committed to making this happen and that’s why we’re focusing on revenue generating initiatives (Membership & Store) to sustain our organization while we continue to seek funding for the GDT program.

The worst-case scenario is that ISLA is unable to find grant funding, and we’d have to fund the development and operation of Global Drowning Tracker© ourselves. Raising five-hundred thousand dollars may seem impossible to most people, but so does the list of accomplishments and milestones we’ve achieved to make it this far!

  • Winning a grant from Chase Bank
  • Awarded a grant from Google to use their mapping software
  • Developing Global Drowning Tracker V.1.0
  • Presenting the GDT in front of U.S. Congress
  • Being the most visited lifesaving-related website in the world
  • Honored by President Obama for our volunteer efforts


Global Drowning Drowning© 1.0 is a fully functional prototype of next-gen information technology.
The GDT has search features for continent, country, state, city, name, age, gender, type of
drowning category, keyword, and timeline. Data can also be isolated to compile results.

The Global Drowning Tracker© has the ability to maintain performance and usefulness, regardless of the diverse needs of multiple cultures, countries, or established programs.

The GDT application is easily customizable to anthropological needs regardless of the
relevant data collection for the geographic location, country,
or city, or agency needs.

Key features include:
• Reporting a drowning incident:
– Via Internet
– SMS Text Messaging
• Geo-tag drowning reports
• RSS News Alerts
• Twitter Alerts and other social media integration
• Upload photos to Honor victims
• Upload information to Honor victims
• Post news source links to verify accuracy of incidents


The Global Drowning Tracker© 1.0 is just the beginning. We’ve established a bottom-up method of global drowning reporting, and we need your help to integrate a top-down method of efficiently utilizing data to allocate resources. We are reaching out to the drowning community for insight, recommendations, and financial sponsorships.

Sponsor the Global Drowning Tracker© Version 2.0 to enable:
• Bulk data import/export
• Report multiple victims in one incident
• Enhanced administrative interface and controls
• Dynamic IP language translation for top 20 languages
• Real-time interactive map
• Improved SMS Text Messaging incident reporting
• ICD code and Utstein integration for scientific reporting
• Dynamically adjusting screen resolution for a full range of devices

To learn more about Sponsor benefits:

Data collection in many low- and middle-income countries is limited, hampering the planning, implementation and monitoring of drowning prevention measures. In addition, the way deaths are classified means the full extent of the world’s drowning problem is underrepresented – statistics currently exclude intentional drowning (for example,suicide and homicide), as well as drowning deaths resulting from flood disasters and water transport incidents. 1 data on non-fatal drownings, which could reveal something about the burden of serious injury and lifelong disability, are not routinely collected.

“There needs to be much more national and international attention focused on drowning, given the limited data available on its true scale and the heavy toll it takes on families, communities and economies.”
– World Health Organization

Interested in reading the full 2014 WHO Global Report on Drowning?
Global Report on Drowning