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France sees 121 fatal drownings in just one month this summer

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France sees 121 fatal drownings in just one month this summer
08:59 CEST+02:00
With the summer holidays in full swing French health authorities have released shocking figures that should grab the attention of all parents, as well as those people who are not strong swimmers.

From June 1st until July 5th there have been 121 fatal drownings around France - a rate of just over three deaths per day, according to the health agency Santé Publique France.

According to the agency's initial findings published on Thursday there have been a total of 552 accidents linked to swimming in the 35-day period between June 1st and July 5th.

Most of those accidents involved children and are mainly due to adults not keeping a proper eye on them whilst they are in or near the water.

Other accidents involving children are linked to falls or a basic lack of safety measures around the area where they are swimming.

The Local reported earlier this week how three siblings - a young girl and her two brothers - died after slipping into a lake in central eastern France while they were dipping their legs in the water to cool down.

Swimming was forbidden in the artificial lake in Chalon-sur-Saône where the temperature was just 10C.

The town's mayor Gilles Platret said he was"horrified" to learn the news, which he said was "an absolute tragedy" which had shaken the whole population.

"A child can drown in under three minutes without any noise in just 20cm of water," noted the health agency.

Adults are warned never to take their eyes off a child near water and make sure they are equipped with armbands or other floating devices.

As for adults most drownings are linked to people being taken ill, not taking adequate care or simply the fact they are not strong swimmers and get into difficulty.

Some one in seven people in France declare themselves as being unable to swim.

Santé Publique France will continue to collect data until the end of September.

 

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