A childhood friend from Malaysia, Andre, jokes that "maybe we're genetically not suited to the water". He says that an Aussie swim coach who used to chuck learners into the deep end back in Australia told him he was shocked to find in Malaysia that "Asian kids just sank to the bottom like rocks".
What it does tell us is that it is so important that your children learn to swim, as at some point in Australia they will be at a beach, swimming pool or river. I think most people in Australia who drown are visitors to our shores, and I am not sure what can be done about that. The Aussies who drown are probably very drunk.
Learning to swim was part of my school education and R's back in the UK where his school had a swimming pool. Apparently at schools now parents have to pay dearly for their children to learn to swim and it is no longer the price of of sixpence for pool admission, as it was when I was carted in volunteer parental cars to the local pool to learn to swim.
If you are are connected with young person, be it as and uncle or aunt or a grandparent or even a parent, make sure they can swim enough to save their lives.