20 people drowned in the first quarter

20 people drowned in the first quarter
20 people drowned in the first quarter
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Both the number of drowning accidents in March and the total in the first quarter are the highest in eight years.

– Every single accident affects families, friends, colleagues and local communities. Both political will and teamwork between all of us who work with prevention are necessary for fewer people to drown. And as individuals, we should all get into the habit of thinking about safety when we travel by and on sea and water, says Grete Herlofson, secretary general of the Rescue Company.

Falls and recreational boats are the most common type of accident

Eight of the 20 people who drowned in the first quarter of this year died after falling from land. The accidents happened on a trip, after fishing from shore,

In the same period, seven people drowned in connection with the use of recreational boats. Three of these drowned from the kayak, while three people lost their lives after falling into the sea between the boat and the jetty.

– So far this year, there have been more falls from land accidents than in 2023. Last year there were no kayaking accidents in the first quarter either, says Tanja Krangnes, subject manager for drowning prevention at the Rescue Company.

So far in 2024 there have also been:

  • two accidents from commercial vessels (both smaller fishing boats)
  • two accidents while swimming in an indoor swimming pool
  • one accident after a vehicle ended up in the lake

Men over 60 at risk

17 men and three women drowned in the first quarter of this year. Nine of the men, that is 45 per cent, were aged 60 or over.
– Men in this age group are unfortunately overrepresented in the statistics, and we see that the proportion increases every decade. This may be because more people over the age of 60 are active around water, have better health and better finances. At the same time, the body and health change with age. Many people probably don’t think about that, or take it into account, says Tanja Krangnes. She adds that there will be more and more people in this age group in the coming years.

– Preventing drowning among adults is very important to succeed in reducing the number of drowning accidents in Norway, says Krangnes.

Most accidents in Agder

In the first quarter, eight people died in drowning accidents in Agder, while five drowned in Nordland. There have been three drowning accidents in Vestland, 2 in Rogaland, and one in both Østfold and Møre and Romsdal. In the other counties, there have been no recorded deaths in drowning accidents.

See detailed drowning statistics for March and the first quarter at rs.no/drukning

The accidents in March

Six men, one woman and a seven-year-old girl died in drowning accidents in March.

  • Nordland: A man in his 60s died after falling between a quay and a boat at night in Svolvær in Vågan municipality.
  • Nordland: A man in his 50s died after falling overboard from a fishing boat at Kabelvåg in Vågan municipality.
  • Møre and Romsdal: A man in his 80s died after his boat went down in the Romsdalsfjorden during a fishing trip.
  • Vestland: A man in his 30s was found dead in the sea after a kayak trip in Kinn municipality.
  • Rogaland: A man in his 60s was found dead in the sea in Hjelmeland municipality.
  • Agder: A man and a woman in their 20s died after falling into the sea when they were hiking in Brufjellhålene in Flekkefjord municipality. The man is still missing.
  • Agder: A seven-year-old girl was found lifeless in a pool in Mandal in Lindesnes municipality.

Spring in the air, winter in the water

Although the air can be warm in April, it is still only between two and five degrees in the sea along the entire Norwegian coast. If you fall into cold water, your body gets cold water shock. You react by gasping for air and hyperventilating. It increases the risk of inhaling water and drowning.

– Take care of yourself and others around sea and water. Should you still be unlucky enough to fall, it is important to try to keep calm and get control of your breathing. Then you can find out how you can save yourself or get help, says Tanja Krangnes, who refers to the Rescue Society’s page on cold water sweat.

  • The monthly statistics are provisional, and will change if new information becomes available.
  • Fatal accidents with recreational boats that are not caused by drowning are not part of these statistics. See the Norwegian Maritime Directorate for an overview of all fatal accidents from recreational boats.


The article is in Norwegian

Tags: people drowned quarter

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