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8 dead in water-related accidents on Sunday

14 Comments

Eight people died, one person is in a critical condition and one is missing after a series of water-related accidents across Japan on Sunday, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency and police reports.

Among those who died were an 8-year-old boy from Itoman City, Okinawa, who came to the beach at Tomigusuku with his family, was washed out to sea early Sunday afternoon, Fuji TV reported. Six hours later, his body was found and he taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

In Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, Taku Konno, a 48-year-old doctor suffered cardiac arrest during the swimming part of a triathlon event. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. In another triathlon event in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, Katsuhiko Noritake, a 56-year-old doctor from Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture, died.

Elsewhere, a 15-year-old female high school student got into difficulties while swimming at a beach at Nichinan, Miyazaki Prefecture. Police said that she remained unconscious in hospital on Monday.

A 4-year-old girl lost consciousness while swimming at a beach in Fukuoka City. However, a doctor who happened to be on the scene was able to resuscitate the girl.

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I am sorry for these needless deaths, particularly the 8 year old in Okinawa. Too many ignorant parents leave their children unattended in the water here, have seen it on countless number of occasions, and it burns me up inside when I read and hear about stories like this......hence me no longer going to the beaches where there are families around.

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wow!! although looking at Picture of the Day surprised there aren't more.

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Yubaru: While I agree that there are a lot of cases with parents being negligent, there is no indication that that was the case with the boy in Okinawa. It says he went to the beach with his family, and was 'swept out to sea', which to me indicates undertow. Now, it could have been edited since you posted, but otherwise I think you're jumping the gun to say it's the fault of the parents.

As for the other deaths that it mentioned, it sounds like all were the result of working the body too hard in triathlons and swimming, and for that I feel sorry for those dead and those who survive them. It's important to know your limits, particularly when it's so hot as it was today.

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Yubaru: While I agree that there are a lot of cases with parents being negligent, there is no indication that that was the case with the boy in Okinawa. It says he went to the beach with his family, and was 'swept out to sea', which to me indicates undertow. Now, it could have been edited since you posted, but otherwise I think you're jumping the gun to say it's the fault of the parents.

One, I live in Okinawa, two, this was on the news here, three, the people that were with him evidently said that they had "taken their eyes off of the boy while he was in the water", four, if you have ever been to the beach in question it is rather hard to understand how the boy got pulled out to sea by any undertow.

The beach is a man-made beach, it has a roughly oval shape with a limited opening at the mouth, plus there are buoys along the swim line, knowing the beach in question, raises the question, "Were the parents allowing the boy to swim in an area that was not being watched by the life guard on duty, or was he swimming in an unauthorized area, which both fall on the parents.

I have three kids, I know what it takes.

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Remember people the ocean is beautiful but its not everyone's friend!

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Remember people the ocean is beautiful but its not everyone's friend!

Yup. Respect the ocean. . . All you "Shellbacks" or golden shellbacks out there - remember how beautiful, yet the ocean can release it's wrath very un-predictably.

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I can't find statistics for annual drowning deaths in Japan, but if JT articles are any indication they are substantial.

In the US it is a bit over 300 a year and the US has 3x the population and exponentially more lakes and beach coast lines in use.

I am shocked at the lack of swimming skill and general fear o water here in this island nation. What gives?

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I can't find statistics for annual drowning deaths in Japan, but if JT articles are any indication they are substantial.

JT articles aren't anything to go by, and the drowning rate in Japan isn't particularly substantial.

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Fortunately for some, the swimming season is very short in japan. so that keeps the death tolls down.

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In 2014 the population of the USA was 319 million people. Every day, about ten people died from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. Japan's population was 126 million. Swimming is a very popular activity especially in cities that schools with indoor and outdoor pools or private homes that have pools. Japanese schools need to change the PE programs in the junior high schools and require students to learn to swim. In USA schools students participate in two or three sports rather than just one per year. Sometime change can save lives.

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Strangerland-care to site your sources? I can find none searching in English.

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Fortunately for some, the swimming season is very short in japan.

Like where are you talking about? Some places it's damn near 365 days.

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I can find none searching in English.

You don't search very hard. Top result on googling 'Japan death by drowning':

http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/10/2/125.2.full

Drowning mortality of children aged 1–4 years decreased from 45.4 per 100 000 in 1955, 4.5 times higher than that of traffic injuries, to 1.6 per 100 000 (ranking next to traffic injuries) in 2000 (A little out of date, granted)

Fourth result- http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/drownings/by-country/

Death rate per 100/000: Japan 2.4 (Lower end of average), US 1.2 (low), UK 0.4 (lower)

So yes, Japan has a higher drowning rate than the US. What this list doesn't show is that for infants at least, over half the drownings occur at home - in the bathtub.

If we resort to Wiki, we learn that drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury resulting in death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths. In the US it is the second leading cause of death (after traffic accidents) for children aged 12 and younger.

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If you get in a strong undertow, don't fight it. Relax...If you are able to move parallel to shore you will move out of the undertow range. Too many try to swim against the undertow toward shore ad exhaust themselves.

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