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Drowning Accident Deaths: January 1 – June 30, 2019

Drowning Accident Deaths: January 1 – June 30, 2019

Drowning Accident Deaths: January 1 – June 30, 2019

At The Doan Law Firm, our drowning and aquatic accident injury lawyer maintains an in-house database regarding drowning deaths that are reported in the national and regional news media. For the first 6 months of the year, our database recorded:

  • 788 total drowning deaths, an average of 4.3 deaths per day
  • ~ 81.5% of drowning victims were males and ~ 17% were female
  • the median age of male victims was 30.5 years of age and for females the median age was 21 years of age
  • there was, as expected, a dramatic increase in the number of deaths in May and June
  • in May and June, there was a dramatic drop in the median age of female drowning victims

In our database, we recorded an average of 4.3 drowning deaths per day, a number that is significantly lower than the often-cited average of 10 deaths per day in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics. We feel this is due to the fact that we are limited to data that appears in the national and regional news media, with the vast majority of those reports coming from online sources. As hard to believe as it may be, we have found that in the “Internet Age” there are still a number of areas where local news is just that: news carried by small weekly newspapers and local AM radio stations that do not have websites!

We also do not have access to the death certificate data that is furnished to the CDC. Although death certificate data is  considered the “gold standard” of research in cause of death, CDC data is usually “trails” by 2 or 3 years. As an example, the most recent CDC statistics of drowning deaths was released in 2017 and was based on data complied from 2014 to 2016. While such data may be more representative of the actual number of deaths, it is useless in spotting recent trends.

Finally, we do not include “near-drowning” accidents in our total unless there is a confirmed death at a later date. Since many such deaths occur weeks after the initial incident, most local sources do not consider these deaths as “newsworthy” and these deaths simply go unreported and are thus absent in our database.

In our defense, we note that our data on the percentages of all drowning deaths by sex and by age distribution essentially agrees with that published by the CDC. Therefore, we believe that our more recent data is statistically valid.

Drowning Deaths by Month, Sex and Age

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

6 Months

Total Deaths

57

67

67

117

221

259

788

Male

Deaths (%)

49 (86%)

52 (78%)

49 (73%)

96 (87%)

185

(84%)

211 (82%)

642

(81.5%)

Median Age

44

37

33

27

24

28

30.5

Age Range

3 - 98

< 1 - 79

< 1 - 92

1.5 - 78

< 1 - 95

1 - 92

< 1 - 98

Female

Deaths (%)

8

(14%)

15 (22%)

18 (27%)

21 (18%)

30

(14%)

42

(16%)

134

(17.0%)

Median Age

39

25

32

15

7.5

17

21

Age Range

3 - 64

2 - 83

5 -75

1.5 - 63

< 1 - 66

1 - 85

< 1 - 85

Drowning Deaths by State

State

Deaths

State

Deaths

State

Deaths

State

Deaths

TX

99

TN

28

HI

18

MO

14

CA

63

OH

27

OK

17

AZ

14

Fl

62

MS

26

WA

16

WI

13

GA

34

SC

21

OR

16

VA

13

NC

31

MI

18

AR

15

MD

11

When we counted drowning deaths by state, we made several interesting observations. First of all, we noted that the 3 states with the highest populations (CA, TX, FL) accounted for almost one-third (28%) of all drownings recorded in our database. We also noted that these three states have the longest coastlines but, with the exception of Florida, most drownings occurred away from the coasts in “inland” water (rivers, lakes and ponds) or in swimming pools!

Regarding Florida, we found that adults were more likely to drown in the ocean and that many of those deaths were due to the victim being caught up in a rip tide. Florida children, however, were more likely to drown in family swimming pools or in “natural” water less than a half-mile of their homes.

***

Regardless of our data, the fact remains that drowning and near-drowning accidents are preventable! As an example, many childhood accidental drownings could be prevented if children were more closely supervised by an adult. Additional deaths could be prevented if children wore personal flotation gear while near the water, regardless of location. However, a significant number of drowning and near-drowning accidents are due to children who fall into unsecured swimming pools after wandering away from supervision.

Most cities and states have laws and/or regulations concerning swimming pool safety, and most of these regulations were written to prevent children from gaining access to a pool unless an adult is present. The most common requirements are the presence of a fence surrounding a pool and a self-locking gate where the lock is either too high to be reached by a child or can only be opened using an electronic access code or by a key. Regardless of local law, if a child is injured in a swimming pool accident, the pool’s owner may be held responsible for the consequences of an accident.

Regardless of the circumstances if you, or a family member, were injured in a drowning or near drowning accident, we invite you to contact the drowning and aquatic accident injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm to arrange a review of the facts in your accident case and a discussion of the legal options that may be available to you.

When you contact our firm, you case review and first consultation with our drowning and aquatic accident injury lawyer is always free of charge and does not obligate you in any way to hiring our firm to act as your legal counsel. Should you decide that a lawsuit is in order, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement that we will win for you.

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