One in five people know someone who has got into difficulty when swimming on holiday, according to ABTA as it launched a summer ‘swim safe’ campaign.
The figure was released as the association teamed up with drowning prevention charity the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) in a bid to urge holidaymakers to follow safety tips and swim safely this summer.
Last year ABTA was made aware of 16 fatal drownings abroad, seven in swimming pools and nine in the sea.
According to the RLSS UK numbers of UK citizens drowning abroad have been known to peak at 75 in a single year.
ABTA recommends people take some time to familiarise themselves with their surroundings when swimming.
Nikki White, ABTA’s Head of Destinations and Sustainability, said: “The main summer season is just weeks away and thousands will head off to some fantastic waterside destinations at home and abroad.
“But, whilst happy seaside memories and favourite snaps in and around the pool are the norm, each year there are also accidents in the water- some with devastating consequences for holiday makers and their families.
“Swimming should be one of the pleasures of people’s holiday, but knowing your ability and knowing what to do to keep safe is vital – that’s why ABTA is reminding people to swim safe and follow safety advice before taking to the
water. Simple steps can save lives, keep you and your loved ones safe, and help keep the water fun for everyone this summer and beyond.” She added.
RLSS UK UK Chief Executive, Di Steer said: “We all know water is fun but it’s truly tragic that accidental drowning causes deaths every year, and that near drowning experiences – many of which could have been avoided - are all too common.
“Have fun in the water but read these tips before you get in – it could be the best decision you make and avoid a summer holiday becoming a family tragedy.”