De flesta svenska badplatserna saknar livräddare. Foto: Leif R Jansson/Scanpix.
Many lakes and beaches in Sweden where people can go swimming don't have lifeguards. Photo: Leif R Jansson/Scanpix.

Drowning accidents highest in 12 years

At 137, the number of drowning accidents last year was the highest in 12 years. 

The Swedish Life Saving Society is calling for Sweden to adopt a vision of zero tolerance for drownings.

"For a number of years, we've seen the number of drowning cases rise, and when we compared this with the number of traffic deaths, we can see that those numbers went down significantly by having a vision of zero-tolerance taken up at the highest political level," secretary general Karin Brand tells news agency TT.

She's referring to the Swedish Parliament's decision in 1997 to approve a multi-national traffic safety project called "Vision Zero", where there would be no fatalities or serious accidents on the roads. With that decision came an action plan for how to tackle the problem at all levels.

"To see (drowning) as something you have to count on happening is a very cynical approach," she says.

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