• Sweden edition
 
Swedish drownings reach 15-year high
A life ring pictured in Stockholm while bathers frolic in the sea. Maja Suslin/TT

Swedish drownings reach 15-year high

Published: 10 Jul 2014 12:59 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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 stories about Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
National
King Carl XVI Gustaf opens parliament
King Carl XVI Gustaf arriving on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: TT

King Carl XVI Gustaf opens parliament

BREAKING: Sweden's post-election parliament is meeting for the first time following a fanfare opening from King Carl XVI Gustaf. READ  

Opinion
Should Sweden's school age be raised?
A high school in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Should Sweden's school age be raised?

After the new coalition announced plans to extend Sweden's compulsory schooling until the age of 18, The Local asked two Swedes at high school if they agreed with the idea. READ  

International
Sweden slammed for ecological footprint
Sweden should increase its renewable energy according to WWF. Photo:TT

Sweden slammed for ecological footprint

Sweden is among the world's top ten polluters according to one of the largest scientific studies looking at the impact of humans on earth, produced by the WWF. READ  

Society
Swede's necklace found after 52 years in lake
Ing-Marie Olofsson whose necklace was found. Photo: Private

Swede's necklace found after 52 years in lake

A 66-year-old Swedish woman got the surprise of her life when a fisherman returned the necklace she dropped in a lake at the age of 14. READ  

International
Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos
Malin Sahlén during a Top Model shoot. Photo: TV3/Nina Holma

Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos

A British newspaper has apologised after a freelance journalist stole a Sweden's Next Top Model contestant's photo and created a fake Twitter account used to trick a UK minister. READ  

Brand stories
Johanna N: beautiful jewellery with a story

Johanna N: beautiful jewellery with a story

Aged just 27 and already living off of her own designs, some may consider Johanna Nilsson lucky. But she doesn't believe in luck. She's the founder of a jewellery line blending sustainability, subtle style, and Scandinavian simplicity - and it's taking the world by storm. READ  

Sport
Heel injury sidelines Zlatan in Barcelona clash
Photo: AP

Heel injury sidelines Zlatan in Barcelona clash

Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss Tuesday's Champions League clash with Barcelona at the Parc des Princes due to a nagging heel problem, the French club have confirmed. READ  

National
Stockholm patient tests negative after Ebola fears
The Infection Clinic at the Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge. Photo: TT

Stockholm patient tests negative after Ebola fears

A patient in a Stockholm hospital who was suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus was given the all clear on Tuesday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
New coalition agrees on defence and migration
A Jas Gripen. Photo: TT

New coalition agrees on defence and migration

UPDATED: The Green Party has committed itself to expanding Sweden's defence force, while the Social Democrats have compromised on work permits for migrants. READ  

National
Fresh Ebola case investigated in Sweden
The patient is being treated at the Karolinska University Hospital. Photo: TT

Fresh Ebola case investigated in Sweden

Doctors in Stockholm are checking a patient suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Botkyrka
Education
New government to make school compulsory to 18
Politics
Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot
National
Swedish scientists sneak Bob Dylan lyrics into articles
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Blog updates

28 September

Spoiled Doyle (Blogweiser) »

"What you gotta watch out for in Sweden is the good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_EzUe6xpI In Sweden, it’s the good things you have to watch out for. Video on @TheLocalSweden http://t.co/rAb8eGFdTD pic.twitter.com/w37YYwMXy1 — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 29, 2014 " READ »

 

26 September

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Autumn swept into Sweden at the start of this week with snow in the north of the country and flooding in the south. As well as a change in the weather, Sweden’s change in political direction became clearer, with Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven formally announcing his party would work with the Greens as..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
National
When Italian style meets Swedish simplicity
Lifestyle
Review: Sweden's first alcohol-free nightclub
Gallery
In Pictures: The MS Estonia disaster
Lifestyle
Ten things expat women notice in Sweden
Politics
What's next on Sweden's political stage?
Gallery
Sweden's 2014 election: Most memorable moments
Society
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 24th
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Gallery
In Pictures: Fredrik Reinfeldt through the years.
Society
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
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

877
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
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:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN