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DECEMBER 2016

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Golden Coast
LATEST NEWS
UK drowning statistics show not enough people can swim
UK drowning statistics show not enough people can swim
The latest figures available show that in 2010 there were 420 water-related deaths from accidents or natural causes across the UK, according to the National Water Safety Forum. The report stresses that while only a small number were drownings in swimming pools there is still a greater need to ensure more people can swim.

The report reveals that, as in previous years, the highest number of fatalities - 217 (52%) - happened in inland waters such as rivers, canals, lakes, lochs, reservoirs and ponds. Nearly a quarter of fatalities - 94 (22%) - happened at the coast or in a harbour, dock, marina or port, while an additional 73 deaths (17%) happened out at sea. Twenty-four fatalities were the result of incidents in baths (including jacuzzis or hot-tubs), six in swimming pools.

Children and young people aged 0-19 accounted for 57 of the deaths, of whom 19 were under 10 years old.

Of the 420 fatalities, 58 involved someone who had been walking or running and then entered the water, perhaps to cool off in warm weather or because they fell in, and 31 involved someone who had been swimming at the time of the incident. Thirty-three cases involved someone who had been in a manually-powered boat, 31 involved commercial water activities and 30 involved angling. Twenty of the deaths were related to sub aqua diving.

Although fatalities were spread across every day of the week and every month of the year, Saturday was the most common day and April and June the most common months for fatalities to occur.

The national safety forum now puts more emphasis into the collection of data on fatal and non-fatal drowning, other water-related deaths and injuries, and near misses. It collects incident data from a wide range of sources including the emergency services, sports governing bodies, coastguard, rescue services, coroners’ courts and press reports.

Mike Barrett, technical services manager for the NWSF, said: "It’s difficult to make comparisons between the data for 2010 and that for 2009, although it is interesting to note that there has been little variation in where water-related fatalities occur, with inland waters still accounting for the greatest number of deaths."

Peter Cornall, at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and a member of the NWSF, said: "Water safety messages are traditionally issued to coincide with certain types of weather, typically very cold spells, when waterways freeze over, and also when there are very warm spells, which are often associated with peaks in accidental drownings, as in 2010. However, the spread of fatal incidents throughout the year really highlights how important it is for all those involved in water safety to press on with prevention no matter what the season."


For more information visit www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk





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