50 people drowned in June in Turkish waters: Report
Banu Şen - ISTANBUL
Drowning incidents occur mostly during the months of June, July and August in Turkey, with 50 people, including 29 children, already having drowned between June 1 and July 4, according to a report provided by the state-run Anadolu Agency.
The number of drowning incidents is higher in the Central Anatolian, eastern, and southeastern provinces, which are not on the coastline, as people go into ponds, irrigation channels, and dams to cool down during the scorching summer heats.
Of the 50 people, 22 people, including 10 children, lost their lives in ponds during June 1 and July 4; 10 people, including six children, drowned at seas; five people, including four children, at irrigation channels; 11 people, including nine children, in rivers; and two people in swimming pools, the agency’s report said on July 5.
For a while now, various municipalities and provincial youth and sports directorates have been organizing swimming courses to teach children how to swim, setting up portable pools to keep children away from irrigation channels and dams.
Güven Görgül, a former board member of the Turkish Swimming Federation and currently an executive at a private swimming facility, told daily Hürriyet that a “local work” was not enough to combat drowning incidents but “an education campaign at a national level” was needed.
“Before the summer arrives, experts [working within the body of the General Directorate of Youth and Sports] can visit the schools and explain to the families what they should pay attention to,” Görgül said.