By the end of this summer, the number of fatal swimming accidents in Germany had increased compared to the previous year.
From the beginning of the year up to and including August, at least 289 people died while bathing in German waters, as the German Life Saving Society (DLRG) announced on Wednesday in an interim report in Bad Nenndorf, Lower Saxony. That was 44 more deaths than in the same period last year and almost as many as in the whole of 2021. At that time, 299 people died while bathing.
The DLRG attributes the increase in the number of deaths to the heat in summer, when many people bathed in rivers, lakes or in the North and Baltic Seas. "The very warm May had already cast its shadow: In hot August, many people went to the water to cool off and unfortunately all too often didn't come back," explained DLRG President Ute Vogt. In August, lifeguards registered 72 deaths nationwide. In the same month last year, which was also cooler, there were 40 deaths.
According to the DLRG statistics, most bathing accidents occurred in unsecured waters. So far, 212 people have drowned in lakes and rivers. In addition to a lack of lifeguards, the lifeguards name high spirits and alcohol consumption as the main causes. The number of bathing deaths on the coasts of the North and Baltic Seas, on the other hand, fell: by the end of the summer, two people drowned in the North Sea and eleven in the Baltic Sea. That was twelve fewer bathing deaths on both coasts than at the end of summer 2021. DLRG bathing supervisors said they saved 68 lives.
Nationwide, the organization registered the most swimming accidents in Bavaria with 54. North Rhine-Westphalia followed with 44 cases. There were 26 more bathing deaths there than in the previous year. The numbers also rose in Lower Saxony with 33 bathing deaths and Berlin with 16 deaths. In some countries, the number has also decreased.