• Sweden's news in English
 

Swedish drownings reach 15-year high

The Local · 10 Jul 2014, 12:59

Published: 10 Jul 2014 12:59 GMT+02:00

A total of 21 people drowned in Sweden in June 2014. By contrast, 14 people were killed out on the water in June 2013. The increase marks the highest rate for 15 years.

Of the victims; 19 of them were men, one was a three-year-old boy, and only one was a woman. Indeed, 85 percent of all drowning victims in 2013 were male.

"One of the main problems is that a lot of men think they are made of steel and won't get into trouble in the water. Nine out of ten victims are male, which is a very high figure," Anders Wernesten of the Swedish Life Saving Association (Svenska livräddningssällskapet) told The Local.

Wernesten added that many of the victims were older than 50 and were inclined to go swimming far out into the sea.

"What tends to happen is that they get cold and tired. It can also be the case that they have another type of illness which is made worse by being in the water for a long period of time," he said.

Many of the deaths last month were linked to fishing trips. Two men, aged in the 30s and 60s, were found dead in June after going out fishing Lake Hjälmaren in central Sweden.

The following day a 45-year-old man drowned when the canoe he was piloting with his five-year-old son capsized. His son, who was wearing a life jacket, managed to raise the alarm, but his father perished.

A total of ten of the 21 deaths were associated with fishing excursions. Many of the victims were aged over 50, with three of the deceased men being over the age of 80.

However, there were some young victims including a 20-year-old man who drowned during graduation celebrations. The sole woman who died was 29, after she got swept out to sea while swimming.

In almost all cases the wearing of a life jacket could have made significant difference, Wernesten said.

"Wearing a life jacket can be the difference between life and death. In the summer when the weather is warm, like it is this year, the number of deaths increase so people need to be extra careful," said Wernesten.

In 2014 there have already been 50 drowning-related deaths, which is a similar figure to the same time last year. In 2013 a total of 129 died in the water. By contrast, the cooler summer of 2010 claimed 79 lives on the water.

Alcohol is often a factor, Wernesten said.

"It is not unusual to find traces of alcohol in the bloodstream among victims. Put simply, people should not drink and swim and they should be more willing to wear a life jacket," he added.

In a recent survey ordered by insurance agency Försäkringsbolaget IF, 28 percent of Swedes confessed they had not swum 200 metres during the past ten years. In Sweden swimming 200 metres is used as a standard for testing swimming ability, and considered the shortest length one should be able to swim.

The Local/pr 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden welcomes winter as first snow falls
Låktatjåkko mountain hut in the far north of Sweden on Saturday. Photo: TT

Sweden welcomes winter as first snow falls

18 minutes ago

The first snow fell in Sweden's north on Friday signalled that winter was well and truly on its way with a weekend of rain and windy weather promised for the rest of the country.

Sweden confirms plans for new mortgage rules
Finance minister Per Bolund. Photo: TT

Sweden confirms plans for new mortgage rules

3 hours ago

The Swedish government has announced that new rules to force lenders to amortize on their house loans now have the backing of parliament.

Refugee crisis
Hans Rosling: 'You can't trust the media'
Screenshot: DR Nyheder

Hans Rosling: 'You can't trust the media'

8 hours ago

Swedish celebrity statistician Hans Rosling has urged the 'arrogant' media to see the big picture in a feisty clash on Danish television.

Refugee crisis
Foreign minister: EU's 'credibility' is at stake
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Foreign minister: EU's 'credibility' is at stake

1 day ago

UPDATED: Margot Wallström, Sweden's Foreign Minister, has warned that the EU's global credibility is at stake if it does not act now to tackle the refugee crisis.

Refugee crisis
Nordic tourists rush to help refugees in Greece
A truck taking donations from Swedes and Danes to Greece. Photo: Ving

Nordic tourists rush to help refugees in Greece

1 day ago

Swedes and Danes are heading to Greece with bags of unwanted clothes and other goods to help newly-arrived refugees.

Sweden charges Rwanda genocide suspect
Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/TT

Sweden charges Rwanda genocide suspect

1 day ago

A Swede of Rwandan origin was has been charge with genocide and war crimes.

The Local Music
The Local's top Swedish songs for September
Swedish singer Noonie Bao embracing the autumn. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The Local's top Swedish songs for September

1 day ago

The Local's music guru, Paul Connolly, has picked out Sweden's eight best new tracks to help ease you into autumn.

Underarm hair post gets Swedes in a tangle
Ida Nygren Hansson was shocked when a friend confided that her daughter had asked for help to shave under her arms. File photo: Communist Casino/Flickr

Underarm hair post gets Swedes in a tangle

1 day ago

A Swedish woman’s outraged Facebook post about her friend’s 12-year-old daughter being pressured to shave under her arms has gone viral.

Opinion
'Sweden was right; the UK should be ashamed'
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at a conference earlier this year. Photo: TT/Mindaugas Kulbis

'Sweden was right; the UK should be ashamed'

1 day ago

The "open hearts and open arms" of Swedes have warmed The Local's Northern Sweden reporter Paul Connolly this week. But he's becoming increasingly ashamed of immigration policies back in his home country, the UK.

Refugee crisis
How to help refugees if you live in Sweden
Asylum seekers in Halmstad, Sweden earlier this year. Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

How to help refugees if you live in Sweden

2 days ago

As images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a Turkish beach spark debate around the world, The Local looks at some of the ways you can help refugees if you live in Sweden, which is continuing to take in more asylum seekers than any other EU nation.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Do you know which song was Sweden's biggest summer hit?
National
Who is Sweden's secret anti-immigration blogger?
Gallery
People-watching: September 2nd
National
VIDEO: Swedish longboarder builds dreams with viral film
National
Hairy Swedish knickers on display
Blog updates

4 September

Editor’s blog, September 3rd (The Local Sweden) »

"Dear readers, As images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a Turkish beach sparked debate..." READ »

 

18 August

Preteritum eller presens perfekt? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hello everyone, It’s grammar time ! I got an interesting question about the past tense vs present..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'It gives you the guts to believe in yourself'
National
Swedish billionaire blasted for 'lonely' Twitter rant
Sponsored Article
Nine places where Stockholm needs more English
Gallery
Property of the week: Stuverum, Västervik
National
Swedish ship rescues 5,295 refugees
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
National
'Sweden Democrats will run the country'
Gallery
People-watching: August 28th-30th
National
Swedish bin men hailed as heroes after rescuing doomed kitten
National
This Swedish teen was told she was 'too big' to be a model
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th
National
Rescued baby lemur gets new Stockholm home
National
Stockholm Fashion Week turns island into Mars
Gallery
Property of the week: Stora Essingen, Stockholm
National
Swedish crayfish thieves caught red handed by officers
National
Veil soon to be lifted on new Millennium sequel novel
Gallery
People-watching: August 21st - 22nd
Cecilia Larsson Lantz/imagebank.sweden.se
Presented by Stockholm Academic Forum
International students welcomed to Stockholm
National
The Bridge: What does the third season have in store?
National
Lucky escape for Swedes after 'dead' bear launches attack
National
Syrian asylum seeker comic: 'We don't prefer Sweden any more'
Lifestyle
Baby joy for Swedish crime queen and her wrestler boyfriend
National
Soldier accused of faking first Isis attack in Sweden
National
Fire alert as Sweden sizzles in summer heatwave
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th
National
Meet the Swede who is crazy for Norway’s mass killer
National
Swede's review of night in drunk tank goes viral
National
VIDEO: Swedish teen melts hearts with this incredible Idol audition
Society
What's a Swedish crayfish party?
National
UN: Sweden can't be left to shoulder migrant crisis alone
Gallery
Property of the week: Skogås, Huddinge
National
Men outstrip women for first time
Society
IN PICTURES: Wooden town resembles 'war zone' after huge fire
Gallery
People-watching: August 14th-16th
Sport
Swedish referee shuts viral Facebook page explaining his decisions
Business & Money
A studio in Stockholm or a castle in the countryside?
National
How did twelve skeletons end up beneath a Swedish castle?
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th
National
Millennium sequel author labelled 'grave robber'
National
Two metre long python stops traffic in Malmö
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,209
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se