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.
View a full copy of the UK Annual Fatal Incident Report 2017
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"Knowing what to do if someone accidentally falls in cold water could mean the difference between life and death.” – Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board
Swimming and classroom lessons should teach children about the dangers of cold water shock, as new figures show a 25 per cent rise in the number of young people drowning accidentally, council leaders urged today.
With school holidays approaching and current warm weather, the Local Government Association (LGA) is warning how even strong and confident swimmers can struggle and drown after jumping into cold and unpredictable seas, rivers, canals and lakes where temperatures can be as low as 15C in the summer – half that of typical swimming pools heated to 30C.
The LGA is also urging the Government to make “near-miss” statistics – sourced from fire and rescue service data – available for inclusion in the Water Incident Database to improve its effectiveness, as these figures are currently excluded from it. Councils believe this will help to identify the scale and nature of risk, which could be understated.
You can see the post in full on the LGA website.
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