This is the view put forward this morning by prevention experts at FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE, The University of A Coruña and the Spanish Association of Technicians of Aquatic Rescue and Lifesaving (AETSAS), the joint authors of “The study of drowning and other dangerous associated events in the aquatic-marine environment” an in depth study with the goal of describing the characteristics of the drowning’s and other life threatening events that occur on the beaches during the summer months, which is the time when there is marked an increase in this type of accident.
The study has allowed the compilation and analysis of detailed information from a total of 20 participating municipalities that have blue flag beaches and life saving services, during the summer season of 2014. One of the conclusions reached stands out: of every 39 life threatening rescues that occur on the beaches, one ends in tragedy and death; the time at which they are likely to happen is between 12 noon and 2pm and again between 6pm and 8pm; the age groups that suffer most accidents are between 5 and 9 years of age, between 20 and 24 years of age and between 50 and 54 years of age.
It is also significant that, of the 51 incidents that happened in the water that year, 9 out of 10 of them were having a recreational swim; the majority of the incidents took place when bathing was allowed (87%) and the highest percentage of life threatening incidents took place in quiet bays (37%), followed by beaches with a heavy swell (27%) and beaches with a strong current (20%).
To prevent this type of accident, Jesús Monclús, Director of Prevention and Road Safety at the FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE, cannot emphasize enough his first recommendation to never let the children out of your sight while they are in the water and when using private pools there should always be a perimeter fence with locks on the gates so that children cannot access the pool.
He also points out key some key measures: always bathe accompanied, stay close to the shore in open areas, get wet before entering the water, avoid heavy meals before swimming, don’t swim if you are feeling cold or tired, ask for help when you see someone in difficulty and remember the emergency service number is 112. He also reminds us of the importance of warning the population by using preventative actions and accessible information.
Find out more about this study using the following link.