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Four swimming deaths in a week prompt warning

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Four swimming deaths in a week prompt warning
Photo: DPA
19:55 CEST+02:00
After three people died in Germany's Baltic waters this week, police are warning bathers not to underestimate the power of the sea. The body of a young man was also pulled from a lake in Berlin on Thursday.

The most recent death on the stretch of coastline was an 11-year-old boy who drowned at the seaside resort of Warnemünde, near Rostock. He apparently had gone into the water despite the coastguard's “no bathing” warning put in place because of high winds that day.

He went into the water with his older brother and two friends, where strong currents pulled him out. The other boys managed to get out of the water and alerted police and lifeguards. A huge search party was launched and his body was found hours later nearly 700 metres down the coast.

A 48-year-old kayaker has been missing since Tuesday missing off the island of Rügen, river police said on Thursday.

And on Sunday, a 31-year-old woman and her nine-year-old son were swimming off Heringsdorf on the island of Usedom when they got into trouble. He died, while she remains in a critical condition in hospital.

A 72-year-old man died in the Trassenheide area, but it remains unclear what happened.

In Berlin, police pulled the body of a 21-year-old man out of the Schlachtensee lake on Thursday morning. He had been missing since Sunday, when he jumped out of a rowing boat but failed to surfaced.

The incidents have prompted the German Red Cross to appeal to holidaymakers to observe basic beach rules – something many fail to do.

After leading the search for the 11-year-old boy's body, state advisor Thomas Powasserat told reporters that some parents would even take small children into the water despite red “no swimming” flags were flying.

There had, he said, been cases of lifeguards calling them out of the water only to be told “I will decide myself when I go swimming,” or “they are my children.”

DPA/The Local/jcw

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