Holidaymakers are being advised to follow safety tips and swim safely as eight million Britons travel overseas on holiday this month.
Authorities in Europe are warning families and holidaymakers to be especially careful this summer as record temperatures have encouraged people unaccustomed to the water to go swimming.
More than 115 people in France – locals and holidaymakers – have drowned in the sea, rivers, lakes and pools, since the starts of the summer.
This higher than average number has prompted French authorities to urge holidaymakers to be ‘vigilant’ when swimming this summer.
Abta was last year made aware of 16 fatal drownings abroad of UK holidaymakers, seven in swimming pools and nine in the sea.
Abta head of destinations and sustainability Nikki White said: “With the main summer season underway, millions of holidaymakers will be heading to some fantastic destinations at home and abroad.
“Unfortunately, each year there are accidents in the water, some with devastating consequences.
“Swimming should be one of the pleasures of a holiday, and simple steps can save lives, keep you and your loved ones safe, and help keep the water fun for everyone this summer and beyond.”
Royal Life Saving Society UK chief executive Di Steer said: “As the UK’s drowning prevention charity we are delighted to again join Abta in highlighting water safety to all those going on holiday.
“Swimming and enjoying the water on holiday, whether at home or abroad, is a huge part of the summer break, but it’s important that children and adults alike know what their limitations are and that they treat the pool and the sea as very different environments.
“We all know water is fun but it’s truly tragic that people lose their lives to accidental drowning every year, and that near drowning incidents – many of which could have been avoided – are all too common.
“Have fun in the water but I would urge everyone to read our safety advice before their trip and also educate their children. It could be the best decision people make, as important as remembering their passport, and avoid a summer holiday becoming a family tragedy.”
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