TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - According to the National Fire Agency (NFA) under the Ministry of the Interior, more than 40 percent of drowning victims lost their lives in rivers and streams last year.
Contrary to popular perceptions, the NFA data showed that a total of 315 people drowned in rivers and streams in 2016, accounting for as much as 42.6 percent of the drowning deaths in the nation, as opposed to 21.8 percent that occurred in the sea.
While Taiwan is known for having various water sports hot spots, the agency urged the public to exercise caution when engaging in watersports activities with summer just around the corner.
The NFA also reminded the public not to go into natural waters with signs warning of hazardous condition.
Many of the tragedies were preventable, the agency said, stressing the need for people not to be complacent and look for the warning signs.
According to the World Health Organization’s data, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, with an estimated 372,000 drowning deaths every year, while children, males and individuals with increased access to water are most at risk of drowning.