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At least six drownings this weekend in Finland

According to the Finnish Lifesaving Federation, most of those who drown in Finland are men, and about half of them under the influence of alcohol.

In the first half of this year, 68 people drowned, 20 of them in southern Finland (file photo from Munkkiniemi, Helsinki). Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

At least six people have drowned this warm weekend in Finland, all of them male.

On Saturday deaths were reported in Salo, Kurikka, Mäntyharju and Tammela.

On Sunday, two more deaths were reported: a 76-year-old man had been boating in Varkaus, eastern Finland, and a 68-year-old man who was found floating in shallow water at Mansikkanokka beach in Kemi, northwest Finland. He died in hospital despite resuscitation efforts.

In addition to these six confirmed drownings, police in Lappeenranta, eastern Finland, said they were searching for a person who had gone fishing on Lake Vilkjärvi on Saturday morning.

Rescue services were also searching for an individual in the water in Loviisa, eastern Uusimaa, but the search was called off on Saturday night. Police are to report on the matter later.

Highest June death toll in more than 20 years

According to the Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation, 30 people drowned in Finland last month. That was the worst June total since 1999, when there were 45 drownings.

Nearly half of this June's deaths, 13, took place during the hot Midsummer holiday period (24-27 June).

The Federation estimates that half of those who drown are under the influence of alcohol. The vast majority of them are men.

In the first half of this year, 68 people drowned, 20 of them in southern Finland.