Risk of drowning in Poland twice that of EU
Poles are twice as likely to die from accidental drowning as the average EU resident, according to recent research, with alcohol consumption blamed for the accidents.
The report by the National Institute of Public Health- National Institute of Hygiene (NIZP-PZH) found that during the years 2000-2011, 2.2 Poles per 100,000 residents died each year in this way, compared to just 1.2 for the EU as a whole in 2012.
During the period, just over 12,700 Poles died due to accidental drowning, with half of these deaths during the June to August inclusive summer periods.
Lakes and rivers were the most common locations for accidents as only 3.7 percent of drowning occurred in the Baltic Sea. The most dangerous was the Warmian-Masurian region in the north-east of Poland, containing the Masurian lakes, where 4.6 in every 100,000 die per year.
During 2000-2011, around a quarter of Poles who drowned were under the influence of alcohol. In addition in forty percent of cases, police did not identify the victim’s sobriety, so this proportion may be even higher.
Meanwhile demographic data has shown that men aged 45 to 59 with vocational education are most likely to drown in Poland.
Women are five times less likely to drown than men, while men with vocational education are seven times more at risk than men who have completed higher education.
Recently 41 people drowned in a single weekend as a result of a heat wave in early July. Over 150 people have drowned since 1 July.