SIXTY-FIVE people drowned in Spain during August – with a body pulled from the sea off Velez-Malaga being the latest victim to be reported.
It is unknown if the body was a bather, diver or had fallen overboard from a ship, but Maritime Rescue (Salvamento Maritimo) say the corpse was found at 6.50 pm on Friday (August 31) about 600 metres from the shore.
The man may have been in the sea for several days.
According to the National Drowning Report (INA) which was first published in 2015, drownings in August fell from 70 in 2015 to 60 in 2016, but in the first eight months of the year there has been a big decrease.
The INA says that since January 1, 2018, 251 people have died in Spain from drowning in water, 126 fewer than in the same period last year, when 377 people died from drowning, 33.4 per cent less.
Andalucia is the Autonomous Community with the most deaths with 36 or 14.3 per cent of the total, ahead of Galicia (34 deaths, 13.5 per cent), the Canary Islands (32, 12.7 per cent), Catalonia (31, 12.4 per cent), the Valencian Community (25, 10 per cent) and the Balearic Islands (22, 8.8 per cent).
La Rioja and the Autonomous City of Ceuta (1.4 per cent each) had fewest, while Melilla remains the only territory where no such deadly event has been reported.
Of those who drowned, 42.2 per cent were over 65 and 77.3 per cent older than 35.
In total, 82 per cent of drownings happened where there was no surveillance or lifeguard service.