Profile of drowning victims in a coastal community

J Fla Med Assoc. 1989 Feb;76(2):253-6.


Accidental drowning accounts for 15% of all accidental deaths in Pinellas County, Florida, and this study was conducted to better understand the epidemiologic profile of the victim. The medical examiner's records of 230 drownings in Pinellas County from January 1, 1983, through December 31, 1987, were reviewed for demographic and epidemiologic data. Bodies of salt water were the most common drowning site (47%), followed by swimming pools (22%), lakes (11%), baths (7%), and canals (6%). The drowning incidence for males was more than three times that for females. Drowning was endemic among boys less than five years of age (30/100,000/year). Fifty-nine percent of young adult victims had detectable postmortem blood alcohol levels. Drowning rates were highest among children less than five years and adults more than 80 years. Epidemiologic profiles of populations at risk and contributing factors are described and public safety measures are suggested.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drowning / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Fresh Water
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seawater
  • Suicide