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Please add Geni profiles for our drowned ones to this project. Additional demographic data is especially appreciated as added resources.


From Wikipedia

Drowning is defined as respiratory impairment from being in or under a liquid. It is further classified by outcome into: death, ongoing health problems and no ongoing health problems.

Using the term "near drowning" to refer to those who survive is no longer recommended. It occurs more frequently in males and the young.

Drowning itself is quick and silent, although it may be preceded by distress which is more visible. A person drowning is unable to shout or call for help, or seek attention, as they cannot obtain enough air. The instinctive drowning response is the final set of autonomic reactions in the 20 – 60 seconds before sinking underwater, and to the untrained eye can look similar to calm safe behavior. Lifeguards and other persons trained in rescue learn to recognize drowning people by watching for these movements.

Unintentional drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury resulting in death worldwide. In 2013 it was estimated to have resulted in 368,000 deaths down from 545,000 deaths in 1990. Of these deaths 82,000 occurred in children less than five years old. It accounts for 7% of all injury related deaths (excluding those due to natural disasters), with 96% of these deaths occurring in low-income and middle-income countries. In many countries, drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children under 12 years old. For example, in the United States, it is the second leading cause of death (after motor vehicle crashes) in children 12 and younger.

The rate of drowning in populations around the world varies widely according to their access to water, the climate and the national swimming culture.


In 2013 drowning was estimated to have resulted in 368,000 deaths down from 545,000 deaths in 1990.[5] It the third leading cause of death from unintentional trauma after traffic injuries and falls.

In the United States in 2006, 1100 people under 20 years of age died from drowning. Typically the United Kingdom suffers 450 drownings per annum or 1 per 150,000 of population whereas the United States suffers 6,500 drownings or around 1 per 50,000 of population. In Asia, according to a study by The Alliance for Safe Children, suffocation and drowning were the most easily preventable causes of death for children under five years of age; a 2008 report by the organization found that in Bangladesh, for instance, 46 children drown each day.

People who drown are more likely to be male, young or adolescent. Surveys indicate that 10% of children under 5 have experienced a situation with a high risk of drowning. About 175,000 children die through drowning every year.

The causes of drowning cases in the US from 1999 to 2006 are as follows:

  • 31.0% Drowning and submersion while in natural water
  • 27.9% Unspecified drowning and submersion
  • 14.5% Drowning and submersion while in swimming pool
  • 9.4% Drowning and submersion while in bathtub
  • 7.2% Drowning and submersion following fall into natural water
  • 6.3% Other specified drowning and submersion
  • 2.9% Drowning and submersion following fall into swimming pool
  • 0.9% Drowning and submersion following fall into bathtub

Capital Punishment

See also: [Republican marriage and Drownings at Nantes

In Europe, drowning was used as capital punishment. In fact, during the Middle Ages, a sentence of death was read using the words "cum fossa et furca", or "with drowning-pit and gallows." Furthermore, drowning was used as a way to determine if a woman was a witch. The idea was that witches would float and innocent women would drown.[citation needed] For more details, see trial by drowning. It is understood that drowning was used as the least brutal form of execution, and was therefore reserved primarily for women, although favored men were executed in this way, as well.

Versions of this method of execution included throwing people in the water with weights attached and chaining people to rocks below the high tide line, and waiting for the water to cover and drown them.

Drowning survived as a method of execution in Europe until the 17th and 18th centuries. England had abolished the practice by 1623, Scotland by 1685, Switzerland in 1652, Austria in 1776, Iceland in 1777, and Russia by the beginning of the 1800s. France revived the practice during the French Revolution (1789–1799) and was carried out by Jean-Baptiste Carrier at Nantes.


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