Four drowned in the Baltic sea Saturday

The State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) is calling on the public to be careful when swimming in the sea, after four victims of drowning were pulled from the waves on Saturday, July 1.

One fatality happened in Liepāja, and three in Carnikava. There were another four bodies pulled from the water in the period from June 28 to June 29 at locations including Ventspils and the River Dauagava.

There is currently a strong underwater current in the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, which, without the swimmer noticing it, can quickly pull him or her into deep water, warned the VUGD.

The VUGD reminded people that accidents in summer occur while swimming and also using various watercraft - SUP boards, catamarans, jet skis, and boats.

The most common causes of accidents are alcohol intoxication, failure to evaluate the conditions, overestimation of one's strength, as well as ignoring elementary safety requirements. Parents and guardians should keep a constant vigil over children's safety close to bodies of water.

As repeatedly reported by LSM over the years, Latvia has a serious problem with a huge number of drownings and other water tragedies every year, given its fairly small population. Latvia consistently tops European league tables for drownings per capita with dozens of deaths both in summer and in winter when reckless fishermen regularly fall through the ice.

So far in 2023 the VUGD has recovered 69 bodies from the water in Latvia, 26 of them since the start of the summer swimming season in mid-May.

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