ACCORDING TO data released this week from the regional government in Valencia, the numbers of people that have drowned in both beach and swimming pool incidents have increased by 35% in one year. Over the past two year period, the number of those drowning has trebled.
To date in 2017, 28 people have lost their lives in the autonomous region with 17 of them in Alicante. The others were from Valencia with 10 and the remaining one from Castellón.
The most tragic month so far this year has been June with 16 deaths (59.3%), followed by May with 4; January with 2; March with 2; April with 2; and February with 1. One person has so far drowned in July. Likewise, so far this year there have been 3 drownings of children under three in private swimming pools without supervision.
A study of drowning in the Community has shown the profile of the victims to be male (in 82% of recorded drowning deaths), of Spanish nationality (in 68% of cases) older than 35 years (75%), from a beach (57%), unmonitored or unsupervised (86%), and occurring between 0800 and 2000 (75%).
Compared with previous years, from January to June 2017 drowning deaths have increased by 35% – with seven more deaths – and have tripled in the last two years with 19 more compared to 2015.
Tips for a safer swimming experience
- Make sure that the pool where you go to with your family has the appropriate safety measures such as a lifeguard in public pools or fencing around the pool in private homes so young children can’t fall in.
- Remember that the responsibility of young children is down to the parent or guardian. Lifeguards are only on duty in case of emergency.
- If you can’t swim, always use a life belt of some form when swimming or playing in the water. Inflatable floats are not recommended.
- Always respect the colour of the flags on the beach. There is a reason the RED ones are flown.
- Always try to go swimming with somebody else, especially if you are an elderly person or have a health problem.
- Don’t drink alcohol before swimming.
- Either in the sea or in a swimming pool do not swim at night