UK drowning statistics for 2010 (the latest available data)
- Most drownings are avoidable
- One in five adults in the UK cannot swim
- Usually more than half of people who drown knew how to swim
- Drowning is the 3rd most common cause of accidental death in children in this country.
- Many more thousands (as many as 1 in 500 people) have near drowning experiences, some of which cause long-term physical effects, such as brain damage
Overall figure for 2010
- 420 deaths by drowning (not including suicides or suspected suicides) – this equates to nearly one drowning every 17 hours
- Only 57 of the casualties were children up to the age of 19, which is less than 14%
Time of year
- The highest numbers of death by drowning occurred in April, June and August, coinciding with school and bank holidays
- Nearly 50% of the deaths by drowning were of people who did not intend to be in the water
- The most common place for drownings in 2010 were in a river (25% of all drownings), followed by the sea (about 17% of all drownings), followed by the coast/shore/beach (roughly 15% of all drownings)
- Amongst 0 – 4-year olds ponds were the most common venue for drownings in 2010, with 8 deaths. This is 4 times higher than death by drowning in other venues
- Amongst 15 – 19-year olds the most common drowning venue was in a river, with 9 deaths. The second most common venue was a lake, with 5 deaths.
- Of recorded accidental deaths, more than 75% were male.
- The most common age for male deaths was 20 – 24-years old (25 deaths). The most common age for female deaths was 50 – 54 (9 deaths).
- Amongst 0 – 4-year olds 11 boys drowned and 1 girl
The top 5 determinable activities that were being undertaken by people as they drowned were:
- Walking/running (58 people)
- In manually powered boats (33 people)
- Swimming (31 people)
- Commercial (31 people
- Angling (30)
Statistics provided by National Water Safety Forum
To find out more about Water Safety Awareness Week please visit www.watersafetyawarenessweek.org.uk