Seven out of 10 people who died by drowning over the past decade were foreign and more than half the Maltese fatalities were aged over 60, according to police data.

There were a total of 106 fatal drownings between 2013 and 2022. Of these, 74 were foreigners – 52 men and 22 women – while the remaining 32 were Maltese – 22 men and 10 women.

The police also received a further 113 reports of near-drowning accidents over the same period.

When it came to fatalities, nationalities varied: 13 were British, eight German and another eight Polish and six French. Other nationalities included Tunisians, Nigerians, Americans, Bulgarians, Indians, Turks and Italians.

The majority (18) of the Maltese victims were aged over 60. The youngest drowning victim was a Maltese six-month-old baby girl who died following an accident in her St Paul’s Bay home on August 27 last year.

Another child – a two-year-old Italian girl – died in Xagħra, Gozo in June 2018.

Over a third of drownings reported in Comino, Gozo

Three deaths were recorded in areas known for diving.

On May 3, 2015, a Polish man died at a shipwreck diving site in Ċirkewwa.

Three years later, on May 8, 2018, a British man died in a Ċirkewwa divers’ area. On September 29 of that same year, another British national, this time a woman, died at the site of the Karwela wreck in Għajnsielem.

Over a third of drownings (38) between 2013 and 2022 took place in Comino and Gozo.

Eight of these – all of which involved foreigners – occurred at the Blue Lagoon, seven at Dwejra and six at Xwejni Bay.

A further 12 drownings took place in different parts of St Paul’s Bay and 11 in Mellieħa, of which three were recorded at Għadira and another three at Aħrax.

There were four deaths in different parts of Sliema, four in Marsascala and three each in Marsaxlokk and Birżebbuġa.

Since 2013, most of the drownings occurred between May and October, with at least 16 recorded in September. This period of the year is known for sudden northwesterly weather conditions that result in rough sea conditions.

Though the police could not provide data for 2023, as such figures will be available in January 2024, according to media reports, there were at least four reported deaths by drowning.

On September 4, a 70-year-old man drowned in a swimming pool in a private residence in Żurrieq.

On August 27, a 43-year-old Palestinian drowned while swimming at Qui-si-Sana and, on August 14, a 70-year-old woman from Birkirkara died after finding herself in difficulty while swimming at St Paul’s Bay.

On May 20, a 43-year-old Filipino woman died after finding herself in rough seas in Sliema while three others made it ashore.

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