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Warm weather behind 20 drownings in June

Half of last month's victims had been intoxicated, according to the Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation.

Pelastusrengas Munkkiniemen venesatamassa Helsingissä.
At least 15 of the victims were male, according to the FSL. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Twenty people in Finland drowned in June, according to preliminary figures from the Finnish Swimming Teaching and Lifesaving Federation (FSL) - more than twice the number of people who drowned in June of last year.

FSL attributed the number of drownings to the warmer weather the country briefly experienced last month. The group said that the last time that Finland had seen as many drownings in June was during a heatwave in 2013.

The group said that far too often, people head onto the water when they're drinking alcohol and don't use life preservers, saying that half of last month's drowning victims had been intoxicated.

"A large number of these drownings could have been avoided if people used the proper life jackets, took the weather into account and otherwise be aware of the risks of being on the water," FSL communications specialist Niko Nieminen said.

Five of the victims had drowned during the long Midsummer holiday weekend, and at least 15 of all of the victims were male, according to the FSL.

Nine of the drowning occurred as the victims were swimming, five drowned in boating incidents and one had fallen into the water. The circumstances of the remaining five vicitms remained unclear, the federation said on Thursday.

According to preliminary statistics, a total of 44 people drowned during the first half of this year.

In June of last year, nine people drowned and the total number of drowning victims during the first half of 2018 was 28.

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