The coast guard reminded swimmers yesterday to be careful when in the sea and especially to avoid swimming after eating a large meal, pointing out that more than 1,500 people have drowned in Greek waters over the last five years. According to figures released by the Merchant Marine Ministry, 1,566 people (1,156 men, 380 women and 30 children) have drowned in the sea between 2001 and last week. One in five of those identified was a foreigner. «We publish guidelines for swimmers every year and we draw their attention to things they have to avoid so they do not lose their lives or run into problems in the sea,» a coast guard officer told Kathimerini. «Unfortunately, the figures prove that some people do not take our advice.» The number of people who drown shows no sign of declining as 215 people died while swimming last year, compared to 132 cases so far this year. Among the coast guard’s recommendations for a safe swim is to wait four hours after eating before getting into the sea.