Italian tourist drowns on Mykonos Island, over 400 casualties annually in Greece

An Italian tourist, aged 21, drowned off a popular beach on Mykonos Island on Saturday, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

At least 124 people lost their lives in the sea and swimming pools in June and July this year in Greece and an average 400 casualties are recorded annually nationwide, according to Greek Coast Guard and Greek National Public Health Organization figures.

Although a maritime nation, Greece ranks 6th among the EU member states in the percentage of deaths by drowning per populace, according to Eurostat data. In 2016 it stood at 2.5 percent per 100,000 people, while the EU average was 1.1.

Experts, such as Dimitris Giovanidis, director of the Greek Lifeguard Academy, speaking to local newspaper “Kathimerini” (Daily), attributed the high rate of drowning in Greece to the shortage of lifeguards at beaches and swimming pools and the lack of swimming lessons at Greek schools.