On Sunday at noon, a 12-year-old boy was swept away by the waters of the Loire at Jouet-sur-Aubois, in the Cher, on the sidelines of a Sunday picnic. On Sunday night, a 17-month-old child lost his life in a family pool in Lot-et-Garonne.
These tragedies are far from isolated cases. Between June 1 and July 26, 251 people died by drowning, nearly four deaths per day in France, Le Figaro daily reports.
As of July 26, 1,139 drownings had been reported since the beginning of the summer, in metropolitan France or in the French overseas departments and territories. The sea is proving to be the most dangerous locale for bathers, while 34 percent of accidents occur there, followed by pools where 29 percent of accidents occur. Family swimming pools, often unsupervised, have the most fatal drownings according to the survey: 103 in two months.
Children under six years are the first victims, often, Public Health notes, escaping the supervision of their parents or because of a lack of safety devices. “A child can drown noiselessly, in less than three minutes, in 20 centimetres of water,” said the public establishment, which advises, in addition to not leaving the children’s eyes when swimming, to equip them with armbands and teach them to swim as soon as possible.
Adults are more likely to drown at sea, due to imprudence, discomfort or because the victims did not know how to swim well enough. Every summer there are about 500 deaths from drowning in France, children and adults.