Midsummer drownings, car deaths and driving bans

The holiday weekend saw plenty of action for 112 crews on Finnish roads and waterways.

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File picture showing detail on police uniform / Credit: News Now Finland

While many people in Finland enjoyed a long Midsummer holiday, the police and other 112 emergency services were kept on their toes.

At least five people drowned over the weekend, and three more people were killed in fatal traffic accidents according to officials.

All of the people who drowned, in different parts of the country, were over 50 years old say police, including fatalities in Lake Saimaa, Eurajoki, Jyväsjärvi, Varsinais-Suomi and in Petäjävesi.

On Monday police in North Savo said another elderly man drowned. The incident happened around noon at a swimming beach in Lapinlahti.

Sea and lake rescue services 

The Coast Guard says Midsummer Day and the following night were the busiest for them; and off the coast of Vaasa five people were rescued as their boat sank in the archipelago.

The Maritime Rescue Society helped 440 people between Thursday and Sunday – the organisation has 130 rescue boats and nearly 1400 volunteers who help keep boaters safe. Officials say when the weather is bad, there’s fewer people out on the water, but with good Midsummer weather the number of call-outs increases.

The busiest waterways were in the Gulf of Finland, Lake Saimaa, Päijänne and Kokemäenjoki.

Traffic deaths and speedsters caught 

Police say they caught and banned 20 drivers for speeding during the holiday weekend, while six cases were serious enough that the drivers will end up in District Court.

In Kolari, two young men were killed after their car went off the road after midnight on Midsummer Day; and a man was killed near Naantali when his motorbike hit a passenger car.

The busiest day for road traffic was Sunday, with holidaymakers driving home after Midsummer breaks.