To investigate whether fatal accidents, including drownings, have decreased among Icelandic fishermen and seamen.
Historical prospective study. The study population was record linked with the National Register and the Register of Deceased to get information on water transport accidents (ICD-7, E850-E858) during the period 1966-86. The number of persons in each calendar year and the number of days at sea registered at the pension fund were both used as denominator to find annual mortalities.
27,884 seamen who were members of the Seamen's Pension Fund. The cohort included both fishermen and seamen from the merchant fleet.
Changes in mortality from all accidents and drownings from 1966-86.
The mortality for all fatal accidents was 89.4 per 10(5) person-years and did not change appreciably during the study period. The mortality for drowning was unchanged at 73.2 per 10(5) person-years. The greatest number of drownings were among those 20-24 years of age but the mortality for drowning was highest among those 45-54 years of age.
Mortality because of fatal accidents and drownings among these seamen was high and did not conclusively decrease during the study period. Further preventive measures are needed.
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