The record warm temperatures that left Norwegians sweating through the summer has also resulted in what aid organization Norsk Folkehjelp fears will be the highest number of drownings in many years.
“July is always the worst month, but from the numbers we’ve seen so far, this July will be much worse than earlier years,” Torunn Aaslund of Norsk Folkehjelp told news bureau NTB. A total of 20 drownings have been recorded so far during July, compared to 17 last year, 12 in July 2012 and 18 in July 2011.
Most of the drownings so far this year have occurred in the counties of Hordaland and Nordland. Men aged 40 and over top the statistics, last year as well. “Men have a tendency not to use life vests when they’re out in boats,” Ivar Christiansen of Norsk Folkehjelp told NTB. “There are also a lot more men than women who are out on fishing trips and using boats.”
Norsk Folkehjelp was a driving force behind a proposal to make life vests mandatory on board pleasure boats. A majority in Parliament ended up approving a modified measure requiring use of life vests on boats with children present.