Summer swimmers warned about the dangers of cooling off
Partying by the water’s edge and then taking a dip is a dangerous combination, according to the Swiss Bureau for the Prevention of Accidents, which says that each year around 50 people drown in Swiss lakes, pools, and rivers.
Over the past five years, an average of 49 people have drowned each year, with the victims mostly being young men. Of this average figure, 42 are male and half of those are aged between 15 and 44. Taking risks and over-estimating their skill as swimmers are both factors that put younger men at greater risk of getting into trouble in the water.
The Bureau also says that drinking alcohol and taking drugs before cooling off reduce a swimmer’s reaction times, which can be deadly in unpredictable waters.
Statistics also show that people who are unfamiliar with Swiss lakes, pools and rivers often find themselves in trouble in the water, even if they can swim. In 2016, 32 out of 57 victims were foreign nationals.
The Bureau is warning parents that children are particularly vulnerable when they are paddling or swimming and says they should always be supervised.