MORE than half of the people who drowned in Victoria in the past year were in the country.
Of the 37 people who drowned in the state, 20 perished in inland waterways such as rivers and lakes.
Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan (pictured) said 27 per cent of drowning deaths involved alcohol consumption and eight out of 10 people who drowned in the country were male.
The report showed 37 people drowned in Victoria in 2011-12 - three more than the previous year.
"Many drowning deaths are preventable and people need to be vigilant about water safety - whether it's at the beach, around rivers or lakes, or even in the backyard and home," Mr Ryan said.