NEW figures show a big fall in the number of people who accidentally drown in the UK.
Statistics from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents show that 439 people drowned in 2000, compared with 569 in 1999.
Deaths among under-15s fell from 54 to 40 and child drownings in garden ponds and water features showed a decline for the first time in several years -from 10 to eight in 2000.
A Rospa spokesman said: "We are pleased to see this fall of more than 20% in the number of drownings, but it is too early to start celebrating."
He said the biggest problem was still drownings as a result of young men swimming in rivers, lakes and reservoirs.