Drownings in Switzerland Hit 20-Year High


Thirty-six people have drowned in Swiss waters so far this year, according to the Swiss Lifesaving Society. Last year saw the highest number of drowning victims in almost 20 years.

A total of 63 people drowned in Switzerland in 2022, almost 40% higher than the long-term average, the organisation said in a statementExternal link on Thursday. Of these, 51 were male.

Not since the heatwave summer of 2003 have so many people drowned in Swiss waters as in 2022, it said.

Sixty of the fatal accidents occurred in open waters, with 34 in lakes, 23 in rivers and three while diving. Three people also drowned in swimming pools.

Expected heatwave

The long-term trend with regard to the age of the victims continued in 2022. The first accumulation of fatal drowning accidents is observed for the 15-30 age group with a total of 12 cases. However, older age also came into focus for the first time: last year, 26 people older than 65 drowned in Switzerland.

Whether the trend will continue this year is difficult to assess, said a spokesperson for the Swiss Lifesaving Society. The more hours of sunshine, the more demand there is for cooling off at bodies of water, and the more the risk of accidents increases, he said.

In view of more sunshine, there is thus a risk of a large number of drowning victims in Switzerland again this year.

On Thursday MeteoSwiss, the federal meteorology and climatology office, warned of a heatwave across the country expected to start this weekend, with local temperatures of up to 35°C.

Source : SWI