With the warmer temperatures, pools, outdoor pools and lakes are being visited more frequently again to cool off. However, surveys by the German Road Safety Board (KfV) show that the bathing trip can also be fatal.
33 dead in swimming accidents
At least 33 people in Austria lost their lives in the water last year, often due to a lack of swimming skills. According to the KfV, around 600,000 Austrians aged five and over cannot swim – that is around seven percent of the population.
There are major deficits among school-age children: one in ten cannot swim here. According to the KfV, swimming courses that were canceled due to the corona pandemic have led to a deterioration. According to Johanna Trauner-Karner from the KfV, many young people “can’t swim at all, are unsure or only moderately”.
9000 swimming courses are missing
Around 9,000 swimming courses are currently missing for school children in Austria. Since not all families have the resources for private swimming sessions, swimming lessons at school are particularly important. The school system would have to be provided with financial and human resources for this.
According to Trauner-Karner, the aim of swimming courses does not have to be to “turn children into professional swimmers”, but to teach them to swim back to the bank or pool edge on their own.