Accidents: DLRG: Number of drowned people in Germany increased

Bathing weather as early as May and many bathing spots that were still unguarded in the pre-season have increased the number of drowned people in Germany.

Accidents: DLRG: Number of drowned people in Germany increased

Bathing weather as early as May and many bathing spots that were still unguarded in the pre-season have increased the number of drowned people in Germany. At least 199 people drowned in the first seven months of the year, the German Life Saving Society (DLRG) announced on Thursday in the Baltic Sea resort of Damp in Schleswig-Holstein. This is an increase of 15 deaths compared to the same period last year.

Since the beginning of the bathing season in early May, lifeguards have counted 136 deaths, nine more than in the same period last year. DLRG President Ute Vogt cited the good weather in May, which many people had already used for swimming trips, as one reason for the increase. "There were more accidents in the still cool waters." In May, 30 women, men and children drowned. In May 2021 there were eleven. "The season is very challenging for us," said Vogt.

According to the DLRG, the majority of accidents occur inland in mostly unguarded waters. By the end of July, on the other hand, there were only four bathing deaths on the North and Baltic Seas. According to the DLRG, a total of 299 people drowned in Germany in 2021. That was the lowest level in more than 20 years.

In Bavaria, most people drowned

Most of the drowned people were in Bavaria from January to July. 42 people died there, after 29 in the same period last year. According to DLRG information, there are many small lakes and therefore unguarded bathing areas in the Free State. "Unfortunately, the DLRG cannot be everywhere," said Frank Villmow from the DLRG Presidium. Bremen and Saarland recorded the fewest drowned, with two deaths each.

In contrast to rivers and lakes, the North and Baltic Seas are safe areas for bathing, swimming and water sports. According to Villmow, this is partly due to the greater respect that people have for the sea. There they are more careful. In the high season, many beaches on the coast are also guarded. 90 percent of drowning deaths occurred in inland waterways.

According to Vogt, the long period of the corona pandemic is having a negative effect. "We have an increasing number of non-swimmers." During rescues, it often turns out that children and young people cannot swim at all. Swimming training has suffered in the past two years.

One problem is the lack of lifeguards in the pre-season. In the high season, on the other hand, all stations could be occupied. An advertising campaign will be launched next year. "Of course we couldn't train the lifeguards in the two years when we couldn't train any children," said Vogt.

Three quarters of all drowned people are male

It is important that after Corona the swimming pools are not closed again because of the energy crisis. In training pools, however, the temperature can be lowered. From Vogt's point of view, lower requirements for lifeguards are out of the question. "We cannot compromise on the quality of the training."

Villmow pointed out that three quarters of all drowned people were male. "Women are much more careful." According to Villmow, the reasons for drowning are often "overconfidence, high spirits". A large proportion of those who drowned were over 55 years old. It is often medical emergencies such as cardiovascular diseases that lead to death. Villmow urged parents to always keep small children within reach in the water. Observing them from a distance is not enough.

A few weeks ago, the German Swimming Instructors Association called for people to go to the pool a few times before swimming in lakes or the sea to assess their own abilities. On the first day you should only swim close to the shore and parallel to the edge of the water.

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