ABSTRACT

Adamczyk, M.; Giza, A.; Kurylczyk, A.; Terefenko, P., and Zalewski T., 2020. Spatial distribution characteristics of water safety services in Poland. In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 733–737. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that drowning is one of the most common reason of unintentional damage to health or loss of life constituting around 7% of all deaths. Although the problem of drowning has been widely discussed by world literature, no publications for Poland have undertaken research on the correlation between drowning and spatial distribution characteristics of water safety services. In Westpomerania Region (Poland) coastal safety plays important role. Large number of entities attend in the water rescuing activities. In spite of the above-mentioned the existing system does not fulfill perfectly the main aim which is to minimize the risk of drowning mainly due to ineffective spatial distributions of services. To realize appropriate analysis data collected from the Central Statistical Office, drowning reports and the scope of activities have been analyzed. The units were categorized, their operation subjected to the space-time cluster analysis in terms of the range of activities, protected areas and times of reaching the accidents. Those allowed for both, spatial distribution characteristics of water safety services and their evaluation. The results indicate that the current system is ineffective and inefficient in the context of survival of drowning person. The probable explanation is that the services cover too little area, and drowning occurs in places where the time of reaching exceeds 20 minutes. Achieved results enabled to map out new guidelines for drowning prevention strategy for local authorities. The introduction of the developed tools for water safety practice may result in a reduction in the number of drowning in Poland.

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