Drowning is a leading killer. The latest WHO Global Health Estimates indicate that almost 360 000 people lost their lives to drowning in 2015. Nearly 60% of these deaths occur among those aged under 30 years, and drowning is the third leading cause of death worldwide for children aged 5-14 years. Over 90% of drowning deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Drowning prevention interventions range from community-based solutions, such as day care for children and barriers controlling access to water, to effective national policies and legislation around water safety, including setting and enforcing boating, shipping and ferry regulations. Much more needs to be done to prevent drowning, and achieving commitments made under the Sustainable Development Goals will not be possible without addressing drowning prevention.