76 drownings in Ireland last year, eight in Donegal

 

Water Safety Ireland is warning that the risk of drowning will be higher as we approach the weekend due to the higher tides, swells and surges that will be caused by a full moon on Thursday.

The warning comes with the release of figures for last year, when 76 people drowned. This compares to 105 drownings in 2019 and is the lowest number since 1936. Eight of the 2020 drownings occurred in Donegal.

Of those who drowned last year, 50 were male and 26 female.

44 of the drownings were deemed to be accidental, Suicide accounted for 28 deaths, and the cause of four was undetermined.

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Release in full -

76 People Drowned In Ireland Last Year
Heightened Risk Into The Weekend As Full Moon Brings Higher Tides
Swim At Lifeguarded Waterways
Water Safety Ireland is warning that the risk of drowning will be higher as we approach the weekend due to the higher tides, swells and surges that will be caused by a full moon on Thursday.
It is appealing to the public to wear a lifejacket when going afloat or angling from shore, to stay away from the water’s edge when walking and to swim at lifeguarded waterways where Lifeguards are trained to spot dangerous rip currents and other hazards.
The warning comes with the release of figures for 2020, when 76 people drowned*. This compares to 105 drownings in 2019 and is the lowest number since 1936 when 73 drowned in Ireland.
The majority were male (50). Suicide accounted for 28 deaths, 9 fewer than 2019.  A total of 44 people drowned accidentally in 2020, 18 fewer than in 2019 when 62 drowned accidentally.
Drownings 2020:
Gender: Male 50 Female 26
Cause: Accidental 44 Suicide 28 Undetermined 4
Province: Connacht 21 Leinster 19 Munster 28 Ulster Part of (Donegal) 8
Age: Under 30:5; 30-34: 6; 35-39: 4; 40-44: 9; 45-49: 8; 50-54: 7;
55-59: 8; 60-64: 10; 65-69: 7; 70-74: 7; Over 75: 5
Water Safety Ireland is urging everyone to swim between the flags at lifeguarded waterways. Details of Lifeguard cover is available at https://watersafety.ie/lifeguards/.  At this time of year, many people will take their first open water dip this weekend. The absence of swimming classes and swimming pools for over a year means that people will not have practised, therefore Lifeguarded waterways provide protection from danger.
Whatever your aquatic activity, do not delay if an emergency develops - call 112 and ask for the Irish Coast Guard.
*Figures are provisional and subject to change