Rescuers urge Latvian swimmers not to be reckless

With the arrival of warm weather, the number of drowning victims and accidents are on the rise. The State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) warns bathers not to be reckless.

The representative of the VUGD Agrita Vītola, in an interview with Latvian Television, said that, since the beginning of the year, 34 bodies of drowning victims were recovered in waters around Latvia, two of which were found on June 6.

Therefore, she urges all bathers to be careful. “In most cases, the cause might have been sheer recklessness,” Vītola said.

Besides, the torrid heat might belie the actual low temperature of the water. Rapidly plunging into the water might of itself bring about an accident.

Parents of small children should be especially alert. The representative of VUGD urged parents not only to look after children but also to talk to them about safety: “Children grasp everything very quickly, and are themselves able to point out if their parents are acting irresponsibly.”

In 2017 the VUGD pulled 102 bodies from the water. The figure rose to 118 last year. There are traditionally two main seasons for drownings - in late winter when fishermen venture onto unstable ice and in high summer when people try to cool down.

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