UK Drowning Stats

There were 420 water-related deaths from accidents or natural causes across the UK in 2010, according to a report published today by the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF).
The report, which uses data from the NWSF’s Water Incident Database (WAID), reveals that, as in previous years, the highest number of fatalities – 217 (52 per cent) – happened in inland waters such as rivers, canals, lakes, lochs, reservoirs and ponds. Nearly a quarter of fatalities – 94 (22 per cent) – happened at the coast or in a harbour, dock, marina or port, while an additional 73 deaths (17 per cent) happened out at sea. Twenty-four fatalities were the result of incidents in baths (including jacuzzis or hot-tubs), six in swimming pools and six in areas that are not usually watercourses, such as flooded areas.
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.
Peter Cornall, head of leisure safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) 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.”
www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk

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