250 people drowned in France this summer

Some 1,119 accidental drownings, including 250 fatal, occurred in France between the beginning of June and the end of August, a figure down compared to the previous survey in 2018, which can be explained by a weather not very inclined to swimming, announced Friday 10 September, Public Health France. Over the same period, the number of accidental drownings in 2021 was down 9% compared to 2018 (1,225).

At the beginning of the summer, the health agency was worried about a high number of drownings, a toll that could have been worsened, according to it, by the post-confinement relaxation (poor physical condition, weight gain …) associated with a weather inclined to swimming.

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During the first half of July and the first half of August 2021, the lower number of accidental drownings compared to 2018 over the same periods (290 against 123 for the two weeks of July and 279 against 213 for the two weeks in August) could be linked to climatic conditions that are much less favorable for swimming (temperatures, sunshine) over a large part of the metropolitan area.

Most accidental drownings have occurred at sea – in the 300-meter band (436). Next are private family swimming pools (249), streams such as rivers and streams (139), lake-type bodies of water (119), the sea beyond 300 meters (56). It is therefore logically in the coastal regions, in particular in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and in Occitania, that the majority of accidents have occurred.

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The number of events, by age category, was highest among children under 6 (26%) and those aged 65 and over (20%).

If it is down compared to the previous survey, the number of accidental drownings during the months of June, July and August 2021 “Stay high”, warns Public Health France, and concerns “All ages and all places”. The agency emphasizes the need to continue prevention of the risk of drowning at all ages, by insisting on monitoring children and gradually resuming physical activity, including swimming.

Since 2006, these surveys have recorded all drownings, accidental and intentional (suicide or homicide), supported by the emergency services. The 2021 survey runs until September 30.

The World with AFP