The Local reports: During the heatwave, the police reported fatal swimming accidents almost daily, with 15 children under the age of 15, and 40 young people, between the ages of 16 and 24, among the victims.
The German Lifeguard Association (DLRG) – which stations 40,000 volunteer lifeguards on Germany’s beaches – has attributed the cause of deaths to a lack of swimming lessons at primary schools and the reluctance of parents to encourage their children to pass the swimming test for the bronze badge.
Refugees are at a particular risk in water, according to the DLRG, because some of them did not receive formal swimming training in their country of origin.
German lifeguards have also connected the increasing number of child drownings this summer to neglectful parents, distracted by their mobile phones rather than keeping an eye on their child’s safety, the Guardian reported. DSV Education Officer Axel Dietrich stated that teaching children about proper swimming technique is not enough.
“People drowned this summer because they weren’t aware of the water temperatures and currents …or because they got a cramp in their leg in the middle of the lake and didn’t know what to do,” Dietrich said.