Bad weather saves lives

The less than spectacular weather Latvia has experienced so far this summer has had one positive effect: fewer people have drowned than usual.

State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) spokeswoman Inta Šboha told Latvian Radio that cool temperatures and grey days were directly responsible for a notably reduced death toll.

"The fire and rescue service's experience shows that the number of drownings is directly dependent on the weather. The hotter and sunnier the day, the more people are going to swim recklessly, and so the more tragic consequences we see," she said.

"If we look at the figures from last year, during the summer 44 people had their swims end tragically, including two children who drowned. This summer so far 24 people have drowned. So far there is a small reduction, but of course we are not at the end of summer yet,"

However, overall this year from January 39 people have drowned, whereas during the same period last year the death toll was 52.

The VUGD is reminding people that the most frequent cause of drowning is recklessness as a result of alcoholic intoxication and urges swimmers to be prudent and never swim alone. 

As recently as July 6 there was tragedy in Valmiera district when the body of a 12 year old boy, who had drowned three days earlier, was recovered from the River Gauja.

     

    VUGD also urges parents to discuss safety in the water with their children and recommends only swimming at designated swimming spots.
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