The latest data has been release from the Water Incident Database (WAID) in the UK. Despite a large part of the year being in various stages of lockdown there have sadly been a large number of drownings in the UK in 2020. Our thoughts go to all people affected by these.
The trends suggest there are still people that we can all look out for to intervene where possible. The majority were male, with a lot of incidents involving males between the ages of 15-54.
Each year there is a spike of incidents in the summer, as people look to cool down. We encourage everyone to watch out for their friends and to follow advice on staying safe from the Royal Life Saving Society UK. This is especially true at weekends where spikes are often noted as people are in their leisure time, but this is a week-round issue.
Drownings are not just something that happens out at sea, although a large proportion of incidents were at the coast, inland waters were where over half of the incidents happen. This includes areas such as rivers, lakes and lochs were also high risk areas. The largest number of incidents being people involved in recreation.
Of the activities people were doing that led to drowning, 53 lives were lost while swimming and 15 were related to waterside activity or in-water play.
We want everyone to swim safe and enjoy the water - then go home to tell their family about the great fun day they had, so encourage anyone thinking about entering the water - whether to compete or just to cool off - to take safety advice, consider their choice of location carefully and be prepared. A great place to start is to find a lifeguarded beach and chat to the lifeguard team about where it's safe to swim.