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56 deaths in water incidents last year

THERE were 56 water-related deaths in Scotland last year, a new report has revealed.

The total, a slight reduction of four compared to the 2012 figure, include drownings and deaths from accidents and natural causes where water was a factor.

Across Britain, there were 381 cases in 2013, the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) said.

Of those deaths, more than half were in inland waters, such as tidal and freshwater rivers, lakes and reservoirs, while fatalities at the sea, on the beach or shoreline accounted for nearly a third.

A further 22 deaths happened at harbours, docks, marinas and inland or coastal ports. Eight deaths occurred in the bath and six in swimming pools, while three happened in areas that are not normally watercourses such as marsh and flooded land.

Jim Watson, deputy chairman of the NWSF, said: "Although the number of accidental drownings and water-related deaths has remained consistent in recent years, there should be no room for complacency as we enter the warmer summer months. We encourage people to enjoy the UK's waters, but to make sure they understand the risks."

The peak summer months July and August saw the most water-related deaths, with 106 lives lost in the UK.

Those aged 19 or under accounted for 12 per cent of the 2013 fatalities, more than half of whom were aged 15 to 19, while ten under-fives drowned.

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