Sun bathers revel in the ocean on a beach in Gdynia, Poland . File photo: REUTERS/LUKASZ GLOWALA
Sun bathers revel in the ocean on a beach in Gdynia, Poland . File photo: REUTERS/LUKASZ GLOWALA

Warsaw — Nearly 250 people have drowned in Poland since April, police said on Friday, as scorching weather grips the country.

"For years now the main cause of drownings has remained the same: people go for a swim after consuming alcohol," national police spokesperson Marzena Orzynska told AFP.

In July alone, 75 people drowned across the country, while for this month the figure so far is 10, according to police data. On Thursday, two brothers aged 39 and 40 had an alcohol-fuelled picnic in an unsupervised area by a lake outside Warsaw before going for a swim to cool off. The elder brother died despite a rapid intervention from lifeguards stationed on the other side of the water.

Polish police say men over the age of 50 make up the largest group of drowning victims, followed by those between 31 and 50. Women make up less than 15% of the victims. The drownings usually take place in unsupervised areas along lakes and rivers and are less frequent in the sea.

AFP