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Family of four falls through ice into freezing Munich lake

A family of four fell through the ice while walking across the Kleinhesseloher Lake in Munich’s famous English Garden park on Sunday. Emergency services were called to their aid.

Family of four falls through ice into freezing Munich lake
Photo: DPA

The family were walking between two islands on the lake in the afternoon sun on Sunday when the ice cracked and they fell through into the freezing water, Bayerische Rundfunk reports.

The mother and her two young children were able to pull themselves back out of the water and onto the ice before making their way to the Kurfürsten Insel.

But other people in the vacinity had to pull the father out of the water and heave him to the Königsinsel.

An air ambulance arrived at the scene and abseiled a medic down to care for the mother and children on the island.

They then took to the frozen ice again, crossing to the east bank, but this time under the supervision of a rescue diver. The diver first tested the ice to ensure that it could take their weight.

At the east bank, emergency service teams took care of the shivering family unit, ensuring that they did not suffer after effects of their unexpected dip. They were then able to go directly home after undergoing a medical examination.

Authorities in the Munich area warn that warmer temperatures are causing the ice to melt on many lakes. They have issued bans on walking on the ice in much of Munich and the surrounding region.

WILDFIRES

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.

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