Boat-related drownings fall for third year in a row

Last year saw 22 boaters drown, making up just under 6 per cent of all drownings in the UK

The number of people drowning as a result of leisure boating in Britain fell for the third consecutive year in 2013, according to a recent report from the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF).

Last year saw 11 motorboaters and 11 sailors drown in UK waters, down from 14 and 16 respectively in 2011.

The total figure of 22 is also marginally lower than 2012’s total of 24, and represents just 6 per cent of the total number of 381 drownings.

Scotland was the most common region for such fatalities, with nearly 15 per cent happening north of the border.

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But incidents were fairly evenly spread between inland

and coastal boating, with ten drownings on rivers, lakes and canals, and

12 in harbours, on the coast or at sea.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the months of July and August saw more than a quarter of all drownings, with warmer weather and school holidays leading to an increase in waterside activities.

Jim Watson, deputy chairman of the NWSF, said: “Although the number of accidental drownings and water-related deaths has remained consistent in recent years, there should be no room for complacency, particularly as we enter the warmer summer months and more people are drawn to the water.

“We encourage people to enjoy the UK’s waters, but to make sure they understand the risks and come home safely.”


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