Today, the latest annual drowning statistics (2018) are released from the Water Incident Database (WAID)* and the National Water Safety Forum (owner of the database) is reporting ‘cautious optimism’ as the trend towards a reduction of deaths in water, continues.

RLSS UK are relieved to see a decrease in the overall number of drownings from 2017 in the UK including Northern Ireland; this is a positive movement given the background of last year’s very hot and long summer, which can impact on drowning figures as more people participate in water related activity

Figures indicate that a total of 585 people lost their lives in 2018, compared to 592 in 2017.

The accidental drowning figures do reveal some variations in terms of previous year’s statistics:

  • Inland drowning (e.g. lakes, reservoirs, rivers etc) is up both against the three-year average (154 people) and against those people losing their lives to coastal drowning (73 people).
  • Drowning is a male dominated issue, with a ratio of seven males to one female losing their lives to drowning, however, analysis against three-year data shows an increase in females losing their lives in 2018 (33 people).
  • Drownings of individuals with alcohol or drugs in their system are down from 100 people in 2017 to 92 people in 2018.

The most startling fact is that the largest ‘grouping’ of people losing their lives in 2018 was once again, those people who had no intention of going into the water and were walking or running close to water (93 people).

As the Drowning Prevention Charity, we acknowledge that some knowledge of the potential risks of water and some basic rescue skills, can help to reduce those losing their lives unnecessarily to water.

We have many ways to help support people, helping keep areas of water as safe as possible, these include campaign materials, water safety consultancy services and numerous awards and activities.

We want a world where no one loses their lives to water – help us to #stopdrowning.

Figures collated by the National Water Safety Forum -