Recklessness, overconfidence, self-overestimation, ignorance of the dangers and also lack of swimming skills – according to the german life-saving society (DLRG) these are the main causes of swimming accidents. Deaths mainly in bavaria: at least nine people died on bavarian lakes and rivers last weekend. The sad record was due above all to the rough heat. "At the moment it is warm and many people are drawn to the water", said the press officer of the DLRG, sebastian low, to the dpa news agency. "In the past years we had many rainy summers. Accordingly, fewer people went into the water – and correspondingly fewer drowned."
Bavaria in particular is a vacation destination. Many people from the center of germany are currently vacationing in the free state, low said of the high numbers in bavaria. Already in 2012, no other federal state had more drownings than bavaria: 75 bathing fatalities here; 383 nationwide.
For the coming weekend, meteorologists are expecting temperatures above 30 degrees again. Around 50.000 DLRG volunteer lifeguards will be on duty nationwide to ensure safety, says low.
Bathing under the influence of alcohol is very dangerous
"Accidents are particularly frequent at bathing areas that are not supervised", says low. Especially on the coasts, the beaches are usually guarded during the day.
Young people met in good weather to celebrate on the waterfront in the evenings. "Naturally, the case of beer quickly comes into play." Whoever ventures too far out then puts himself in danger.
The water temperature at lakes is also often underestimated. The water is warm on the surface, but cold in deeper layers. The consequence are cramps, which could also lead to fatal accidents.
Again and again, reckless people dare to jump into water that is too shallow – despite warning signs. Just now there were traps again at a bridge at the north sea.
No chance against strong currents
"The water is 50 centimeters deep at the site. There are three warning signs. Nevertheless two young people jumped down there within two days." Both are injured. "This can also quickly lead to cross-sectional paralysis. The boys were lucky. But of course you have to throw your hands up in horror when you see so much recklessness."
Unimaginable dangers threatened in flowing waters, rivers such as the danube, rhine or ruhr, or even at sea. Swimming against strong currents is practically impossible. "This is a serious danger even for experienced swimmers." The flying speed is often not to be estimated by eagles. In addition there were whirlpools. "If you get caught in this, the power is gone very quickly and then you go under."
The declining swimming ability of the children is also a problem, they say. In the face of tight budgets, there are fewer and fewer educational swimming pools. The lack of swimming skills among young swimmers had not led to an increase in the number of accidents, however, said low.