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November 23, 2014

Number of drownings spikes in Minnesota

The number of drownings statewide has increased dramatically this year, statistics show. The Pioneer Press reports that so far in 2012, at least 25 people have died of nonboating-related drownings statewide, including eight in the seven-county metro area, compared to 13 statewide at this time last year.

“There’s just been more exposure. It’s been a hot summer and an early hot summer, and when it’s hot, people go to the water,” Tim Smalley, boat- and water-safety specialist for the DNR, told the Pioneer Press.

At least one happened just this week, the Star Tribune reports: a 5-year-old boy drown Tuesday in Chisago County when he went down to a dock to get his life jacket and fell in without it. In another case, a man was still missing Wednesday, two days after his unoccupied pontoon boat was found adrift in Forest Lake.

Here are the DNR’s drowning and water accident statistics.

Not far outside the state, it was a tragic holiday in Iowa, where three children drowned Wednesday night in the Iowa River at Marshalltown, the Des Moines Register reported.

The Minnesota Department of Health offers these best practices to avoid drownings.