News24

52 drown as Poland heats up

2010-07-19 14:13

Warsaw - A record 52 people drowned in Poland over the weekend as people flocked to lakes and rivers to escape a scorching heatwave, police said on Monday.

Swimming while intoxicated and a lack of supervision for children were the major factors behind the deaths which came as the mercury soared above 30°C, they said.

"The mortality rate due to drowning is directly related to the weather - good weather unfortunately means more deaths," national police spokesperson Grazyna Puchalska told AFP.

She said the 52 deaths by drowning were a record for a weekend in Poland.

A total of 189 people had drowned since the start of July while trying to beat the heat - "an average of 10 people drowning every day", said Puchalska.

"Sundays are the worst for drownings - for 28 people, yesterday was the last Sunday of their lives," she added.

A total of 395 people have drowned during recreational activities in Poland since April, Puchalska said.

More than 20 lives were also claimed by flooding in May and June.