There were 18 drownings in Mass. in May alone. Here’s why such tragedies may be on the rise

In mid-May, two cousins drowned as they skipped stones in a Brockton lake. Neither knew how to swim and one died trying to save the other, who had fallen into deeper water. Eleven days later, as the temperature soared into the 90s, a teenage boy drowned after jumping from a rope swing into a Framingham pond that was roughly 60 degrees.

In all, there were 18 drownings in Massachusetts last month, more than the previous three Mays combined. And in June, there have been a series of tragedies with aching similarities. On June 4, a Worcester police officer died in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue a teenage boy. On Sunday in Rhode Island, a 10-year-old drowned after strong currents swept her off a sandbar.

A bystander died trying to save her. The same day, a teenage boy drowned in Bedford, N.H., after swinging from a rope into a pond. Then on Wednesday, a 60-year-old man died after being pulled from a backyard pool in Shrewsbury, followed by the death of a 19-year-old Thursday in a pond in Hyde Park.

From beaches to backyard pools, drownings are all too familiar with the onset of hot weather. But this year, a host of factors, from a receding pandemic and exceptionally warm weather, to a shortage of lifeguards and swimming lessons, may have contributed to the surge of drownings, water safety specialists said.

Source: Boston Globe