The number, from the Forum’s Water Incident Database (WAID), represents two-fifths (41 per cent) of the overall number of deaths in water that year (592) and includes 13 cases in which natural causes of death were suspected or confirmed. Other causes include suicide (209), crime (5), and cases in which the cause was not recorded or confirmed (123).
As in previous years, men (217) are disproportionately represented in the statistics, with young and middle-aged males being particularly affected.
The majority of incidents occurred at the coast/shore/beach (68) or on rivers (64). As in previous years, a large proportion of those who died did so while taking part in an activity in which they never intended to be in the water – 106 people drowned while walking or running.
WAID compiles statistics from across the UK from a number of sources, including inquests, and breaks these down into deaths by activity, age, location type and geography, to give those working in prevention a clearer idea of where to target interventions.