Thursday, December 1, 2011

Famous Drowning Deaths

After traffic accidents, drowning is the most common cause of accidental death, according to the World Health Organization. And drowning isn't just for the "little people;" plenty of celebrities have drowned, some in ways you'd never expect. Read on for some of the better-known people who went down without coming back up.

Rasputin
Russian mystic, healer and all around eccentric, Grigori Rasputin served Emperor Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their son Alexei, who had hemophilia. Rasputin was poisoned, shot four times, badly beaten, and thrown in a river in 1916. Despite the amount of poison he was given, which was estimated as being enough to kill five men, the autopsy revealed that Rasputin actually drowned.

Brian Jones & The QueenBrian Jones
Musician and former Rolling Stone Brian Jones drowned in his own swimming pool at 10:30 pm in July, 1969. He was just 27 and had been drinking heavily and taking sleeping pills, according to autopsy reports. The night of drinking was far from uncommon for Jones; he had an enlarged heart and pathologists reported that his liver was double the size it should have been.

Doctor muerteJosef Mengele
Known for his cruel experiments on Jews and others imprisoned in Nazi death camps, Mengele drowned in Bertioga, Brazil in 1979 while swimming in the sea. He had been in hiding and living under the name “Wolfgang Gerhard” since around 1958 at the time of his death. Especially fascinated by twins, dwarves and children, Mengele was known as the "Angel of Death" at Auschwitz.

orville-redenbacherOrville Redenbacher
This well-known businessman, famous for his popcorn, horn-rimmed glasses and bow tie, almost named his corn "RedBow," after himself and his partner, Charlie Bowman. Fortunately, an advertising agency suggested he name the product after himself, and the name stuck. Redenbacher drowned in his jacuzzi in 1995 at age 88. A digital recreation of him appeared in some 2007 commercials, confusing some people.

KnutKnut
The German celebrity polar bear was featured on tens of thousands of Berliner Volksbank ATM cards and the candymaker Haribo made millions of raspberry-flavored Knut gummy bears. As the Berlin Zoo's top attraction, visitors flocked to his pen, with a custom, black-bottomed pool. It was estimated that Knut generated more than $140 million, but all the money in the world couldn't save him when he lost consciousness, tumbled into his pool and drowned in 2010.

Natalie Wood AutographNatalie Wood
Actress Natalie Wood died under mysterious circumstances in 1983, while filming a movie called "Brainstorm" with Christopher Walken. She drowned after disappearing from a yacht in Catalina Bay, and the case was declared an accidental death for almost 30 years. It was reopened by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in November 2011 after new, allegedly credible information surfaced.

This article provided by Swimtown Pools, an online pool supplies store that offers safety products such as pool safety covers.  Rasputin image courtesy of paukrus on flickr.