Drowning statistics are on the rise this year, with 72 Swedes reported drowned so far compared with just 55 at the same time last year. The biggest increase has been in deaths related to swimming, rather than boating accidents.
“It’s most often adult men who have gone out for a swim,” Anders Wernersten of the Swedish Life Saving Society (Svenska livräddningssällskapet) told the TT news agency.
“That’s what’s the most common, those who have drowned haven’t just fallen in. There’s a few men who think they’re in good shape but they’re not.”
A study The Local reported on last month suggested that drunk men were the more likely to drown in Sweden, however Wernersten added that the only correlation he saw was that it was mostly men who were drowning.
He added that the deaths have been widely spread in location across the country, as well as throughout different periods of the day.
And as for the myth that men are drowning after standing up while fishing to urinate into the water, Wernersten claimed it’s just an old wives’ tale.
“Last year, we had just one person who was found in the water after a boating accident with an open fly, and we didn’t really know then what had happened exactly,” he said.
Children under the age of 15, meanwhile, have seen a decrease in drowning statistics, something experts put down to improved water safety knowledge among parents.