Lifeguard Association: German Drownings Spike in 2015

by Daniela Kapser 0

September 16th, 2015 Europe, Industry, International, News

In German waters are from January to the end of August this year at least 374 people drowned in German water, 55 victims more than the same period last year. The deaths by drowning increased by 17.24%. In the holiday months of June to August, 249 people died in the water. The German Lifeguard Association announced these figures on Monday in Bad Nenndorf, Germany.

DLRG-President Hans-Hubert Hatje: “Unfortunately this is the dark side of a beautiful summer. The hot weather with partly tropical temperatures has significantly favored the increase. Many people went to the coasts and inland waters to cool down.” Compared with the summer of 2014 (June to August) 53 more people lost their life. The DLRG is especially concerned about the high number of drowned refugees (27).

Most people (97.06%) drowned in inland waters: 133 people died in rivers, 175 in lakes and 15 people in channels. In the ocean eleven people drowned, eight of them in the Baltic Sea, three in the North Sea. Ten people drowned in a public swimming pool, four in a private garden pond or swimming pool, 26 more lost in a harbor basin or other places their lives. DLRG boss Hatje: “Most of the victims drowned in unguarded waters. Self-esteem, health predamages, exuberance, recklessness and ignorance about the potential dangers are often the cause of fatal accidents in the water. “The risk of drowning in unguarded waters is many times greater than in baths and coasts, which are guarded by lifeguards.” Our volunteer rescuers had everywhere a lot of work, the beaches and pools were often fully occupied. Without their hard work and their rapid assistance, the number of drownings would be even higher, “says Hatje.

22 boys and girls aged up to fifteen years drowned so far.  Compared with the same period last year the number of children has remained approximately the same. Nine victims were pre-school children, eight were in the primary school, aged between six and ten years old and five were in high school, between eleven and fifteen years old.  Hatje: “This clearly shows that the swimming lessons must be carried out systematically in the schools. We therefore strongly support the preservation of public swimming pools and call on the local authorities to enable swimming lessons for the primary schools.”

A special risk group is now the refugees. Overall, 27 asylum seekers have drowned this year. There are no comparative figures for the previous year. The DLRG has already reacted. DLRG president Hatje: “This summer we translated the swimming rules into more than 25 languages to demonstrate the dangers in the water to people from other countries.”  

171 people were 50 years and older when they drowned. In the age group 71 to 80 drowned 76 men and women. Particularly affected are older men. In the distribution by sex are no changes compared to previous years: 69 drowned women (18.45%) against 298 men (79.68%).  The gender of 7 victims were unknown

(source: press release DLRG, 2015/09/14

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