Surf Life Saving WA says it is hampered in its efforts to prevent drownings because it does not have enough money.
The group's chief Paul Andrew said educating more people about the risks of the ocean could prevent many getting into deadly danger in the State's waters.
But the not-for-profit organisation cannot afford to reach those who needed help the most, Mr Andrew said.
"We're doing the best we can but we can do so much more if we had the funding," he said.
"We're limited purely by the funds."
Last summer, 17 people drowned off the WA coast, compared with eight in the summer of 2011/12.
Mr Andrew said 26 people have drowned in the past 12 months.
He said State Government support had been good but urged businesses to increase donations to enable the association to take more action.
"It's not just the responsibility of the State Government," Mr Andrew said.
"There are corporate groups out there who can assist. This is a community issue and community issues require community assistance."
The association wants to spend any extra money on more school visits to spread safety messages and making sure people learnt to swim before getting into the ocean.
The visits would focus on areas with a high migrant population.
"A lot of (the drownings) are people who are travelling or moved to our country and are using the ocean for the first time," Mr Andrew said.
"People who are new to our country who haven't had the upbringing in an ocean environment - we can educate them."
Last summer, lifeguards and volunteers carried out 32,595 preventive actions, where beachgoers were given advice to stop them getting into danger.
Mr Andrew said this was the main reason for the number of people needing to be rescued halving over the past two summers and proved that spreading ocean safety messages resulted in fewer getting into trouble in the water. Lifeguards and volunteers carried out 1096 rescues across WA last summer.
Fremantle Surf Lifesaving Club carried out 205 rescues during the season - the most of all the State's clubs.
City Beach lifeguard Michael Leith said the most common mistakes beachgoers made included swimming outside flags, surfing too close to swimmers and swimming beyond their limits.He said tourists made up about 80 per cent of rescues.