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250 summer swimmers die in German waters

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250 summer swimmers die in German waters
Photo: DPA
16:31 CEST+02:00
The number of swimming deaths in Germany this summer has nearly doubled on last year. Figures released on Wednesday show 250 people died in the country's waters over the summer months.

The German Life Saving Association (DLRG) said that between the beginning of July and August 19th, 250 people died swimming. For the same period in 2012, this figure stood at 136.

Primary causes were, the DLRG said, swimmers overestimating their own abilities, health problems and recklessness.

“The the dark side of a beautiful summer is having to expect a higher number of drownings,” DLRG president Klaus Wilkens said. He stressed the importance of teaching water safety in schools and kindergartens.

Since January, 361 people have died through drowning in Germany – 35 of which were children under the age of 15. This figure was 35 percent higher than the same period in 2012.

Most of the victims died in unsupervised waters. Of the 361 deaths, rivers claimed 142 lives, while 138 died in lakes and 11 in canals. The Baltic Sea claimed 17 lives and the North Sea five. Eleven people died in swimming pools, seven in garden ponds or private pools and 30 in other places.

DPA/The Local/jcw

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