Lithuania and Latvia have significantly more drownings each year than other European Union member states, according to the latest statistics from Eurostat.
The figures released August 9 cover the year 2016, when there were 5,537 deaths of European Union (EU) residents caused by "accidental drowning and submersion," Latvian public broadcaster LSM reports.
The figure has been falling each year since a peak of 6,090 deaths in 2013 and corresponds to an EU average of 1.1 deaths per 100,000 residents.
But the death rate was far higher in Lithuania and Latvia, with more than 6 deaths per 100,000 residents. In contrast, the lowest rates were in Italy, Malta and Portugal (all 0.4 deaths per 100 000).
Lithuania recorded 6.46 deaths per 100,000 residents with Latvia not far behind on 6.10 deaths. Third placed Romania had half as many deaths (3.2 per 100,000) and Baltic state Estonia was in fourth place on 3.1 deaths.
There is also a notable disparity between the death rates for males and females. In Latvia the death rate among males is 10.36 per 100,000 residents while the rate among women is four times lower, at 2.56.