'Alcohol and overconfidence' behind many drowning deaths in Germany

DPA/The Local
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'Alcohol and overconfidence' behind many drowning deaths in Germany
A DLRG boat patrols the waters by a lake in Baden-Württemberg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Warnack

The number of drownings in Germany this year has gone down compared to the same period last year, according to the German Life-Saving Association (DLRG). They shed advice on how future fatalities could be prevented.


As of the past weekend, 263 individuals had drowned in Germany, marking a decrease of 41 compared to the figures at the same time in 2022. The majority of these water-related accidents, totalling 194, occurred since the commencement of the bathing season in early May.

Even in a multi-year comparison, the number of drowning incidents in 2023 stands out positively. Only in 2021 were there fewer accidents in the past ten years, with 248 incidents.

READ ALSO: How to stay safe while swimming outdoors in Germany this summer

With the exception of rivers and canals, the number of accidents decreased across all types of water bodies. The majority of the incidents occurred in lakes and ponds (120), and the victims were primarily between the ages of 21 and 39 (61) or over 60 years old (75).

Among young adults, recklessness, overconfidence, as well as alcohol or other drugs, often contributed to these accidents, the DLRG noted.

"Moreover, many victims could swim poorly or not at all," the association added. Health issues were also cited as a cause in some cases.

The DLRG, which monitors many bathing spots at lakes and seas, advised water sports enthusiasts to wear life jackets.


The association said this could have saved lives in cases involving canoeists or stand-up paddle-boarders.

The organisation also called for more qualified instructors as it expressed concern about the fact that after completing primary school, the majority of students could not swim confidently. 

READ ALSO: Five people drown in weekend swimming accidents around Germany


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