FATALITIES due to drowning have doubled in Spain as its shores saw three deaths a day in July.
A total of 94 people drowned in the first month of summer – up from 60 in July last year – according to the Royal Spanish Federation of Lifeguards and Rescue (RFESS).
The president of the Federation, Isabel Garcia Sanz, said ‘a variety of factors’ caused the increase.
“What’s important is that 70 percent of deaths occurred in areas where there were no lifeguards,” she said.
“If you are going to go swimming in places without supervision, you must make sure there are people around who can help you in an emergency.”
Garcia urged that beachgoers should ‘never’ dive head-first into waters they’re not familiar with.
She added that no one should swim on beaches where a red flag is present – these indicate swimming is forbidden.
The total number of deaths by drowning has reached 232 this year alone.
The highest number of fatalities were recorded in the Valencian Community and Catalonia, followed by Castilla y Leon, Andalusia, Galicia, the Canary Islands and then Murcia.
Over half of those who died in July were aged between 45 and 74.
Half of deaths happened at beaches, with the remainder in rivers, swimming pools, lakes and reservoirs.