84 drowned have been recovered from water this year

This year, rescuers from the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) have removed 84 dead from water bodies, Latvian Radio reported August 20.

According to VUGD spokeswoman Viktorija Gribuste, the number of drowned persons is higher, because there are cases where eyewitnesses have already removed the dead bodies from water. A little over half of the drowned fall in the bathing season, which started this year on May 15, so rescuers call on people to be careful when they go swimming – not to overestimate their capacity, not to swim under the influence of alcohol, and to look after children when they are in the water.

"In the last year, a total of 94 people were removed from water bodies, a year earlier 100. Unfortunately, the statistics do not improve and this year will certainly not be better, since August is only halfway there, and some of the drowned are always in the winter period when ice fishing begins. At 84, statistics will certainly not stop," Gribuste said.

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. 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. Statistics show that on average, a dead person is removed from the water every three days: 122 people in 2020, 100 in 2021, and 94 in 2022.

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