How many people drown in the UK each year and where do most drownings occur?

Inland waters have been shown to be the places that claim the greatest number of lives through accidental drowning.

An initial analysis of accidental drowning fatalities in the UK in 2006 shows that 147 lives were lost in inland waters. Of these deaths, 61 involved the victim unintentionally becoming immersed in the water (e.g. falling in), 21 involved people who were swimming, 17 happened after vehicles entered the water, 15 happened during watersports activities and four occurred when the victim was fishing. Twenty-six of the deaths happened when people intentionally entered the water for another reason, such as jumping in to cool off. Three deaths happened during commercial activities.

The provisional 2006 figures, which were collated by RoSPA using information from members of the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF), show that there were 105 accidental drowning fatalities at coastal locations, 30 out at sea, 22 in residential settings (including garden ponds, baths and home swimming pools), and eight in other swimming pools.

Date Updated/Created: 09/09/2010

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