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Drownings in Finland hit 10-year high in 2021

Eighty-seven people drowned in Finnish lakes and waterways during 2021's exceptionally hot summer months, which is 40 more than during the summer of 2020.

Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

A total of 157 people drowned in Finland during 2021, according to annual statistics (siirryt toiseen palveluun) gathered by the Finnish Swimming Education and Lifesaving Federation (FSL).

The grim toll is a significant increase on the 113 drowning deaths in 2020 and is the highest figure registered in Finland for over a decade.

The figures revealed that 87 people drowned in Finnish lakes and waterways during 2021's exceptionally hot summer months, which is 40 more than during the summer of 2020. The 2021 summer toll is also higher than the number of drownings for the entirety of 2017.

As is usually the case, the vast majority of drowning victims in 2021 were men. Of the 157 drownings, 99 were men, 25 were women while gender was not registered in a further 33 cases.

The figures also revealed that 23 people drowned last year after falling through weak ice, leading the FSL to urge people to exercise caution on ice-covered lakes and other waterways this winter.