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Finland Sees Fewer Drownings

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The number of drownings between January and August of this year in Finland fell by nearly half from the long-term average.

According to statistics collected from the media by the Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation (SUH), during the period of June–August of this year, 40 people drowned, while the average for those months over the past two decades is 65.

In January–August, there were 57 drowning fatalities, close to half of the long-term average of 99.

SUH communications representative Niko Nieminen stated in a release that part of the reason for the decline in drownings was the rainy weather seen during the latter part of the summer this year. On the other hand, he also pointed out that the summer was warmer than average in many parts of the country.

“It is possible that recent water safety campaigns and other work for water safety have also increased public awareness and led to safer practices on the water,” Nieminen added.

Nearly half intoxicated

There are around 100–150 accidental drownings in Finland every year, about half of them during the summer months. Almost half of those who drown are intoxicated.

Typically, drownings occurs while swimming or playing in the water, when maneuvering a rowboat, or after falling from a dock. This often happens when alone in or on familiar waters.

Of the drownings recorded during the first seven months of the year, in which the cause is known, most occurred in connection with water transport.

According to preliminary data, 11 people drowned in August.

Source: Yle

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