DEVELOPMENT AND STANDARDIZATION OF A MICROALGAE TEST FOR
DETERMINING DEATHS BY DROWNING
Deaths that occur as a result of drowning are often attributed to accidents, suicide or murder.
Knowing the exact cause that led to the drowning of the victim is down to forensic investigations
“The world incidence of death by drowning is estimated at about 5.6% per 100,000 of
population. Approximately 1,500 deaths from drowning occur in the UK each year, 25% occur
in the sea and the rest in inland waters; majority of the victims are young adults and children;
two-third are accidental and one-third are suicidal, homicide by drowning is very rare”-from
Bodies from water, Dept of Forensic medicine, University of Dundee.
When corpse is found in water, the cause of death is often associated with drowning, the body
recovered from water prompts two questions:
Was the victim alive or dead when he entered the water?
Is the cause of death really drowning? If not, what is the cause of death?
To answer the questions listed above, the following information must be available
The circumstances preceding the death
The circumstances of recovery of the body
The autopsy findings 
What is Drowning?
Drowning occurs when there is lack of oxygen reaching the body tissues due to immersion in
water. This is called ASPHYXIA. 
Asphyxia occurs when there is an interference with the mechanics of breathing, thus affecting
regular respiratory functions. There are several classifications for Asphyxia which include
Suffocation, Strangulation, Hanging, drowning etc.
Types of Drowning
There are different types of drowning, they are:
Fresh water drowning
Salt water drowning
Dry drowning 
Death by drowning primarily occurs when certain areas of the body e.g tissue are deprived of
adequate oxygen supply (Hypoxia), thus excluding air from the lungs. It can also be as a result of
electrolyte imbalance or/and Haemolysis which occurs when water