At least two deadly swimming accidents over summer-like weekend

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At least two deadly swimming accidents over summer-like weekend
A sign warning swimmers at Silbersee in Hanover. Photo: DPA

A dark aspect to the warm and sunny weather over the weekend in Germany is that at least two people have died due to swimming accidents in lakes.


On Sunday a 24-year-old drowned in Bavaria while attempting to swim with friends to a platform in the middle of the Haager Weiher lake. He went down when he was halfway there, according to the police.

Efforts to help from those present were in vain. Rescuers found the man’s body at the bottom of the lake after about an hour of searching.

The 24-year-old was resuscitated and taken to a clinic, though passed away shortly afterward. Investigations are still underway as to why the man drowned; third-party responsibility has been ruled out.

Meanwhile in Lower Saxony a 50-year-old drowned swimming in a lake near the district of Lorup, the police reported on Sunday. The man had been swimming with a 32-year-old man the previous day when he suddenly disappeared for reasons which are still unclear.

The younger man had tried unsuccessfully to save the 50-year-old. A diving group from the local fire brigade later recovered the body and an autopsy is set to take place.

The body of another man was also discovered in Lower Saxony on Sunday. A woman in Salzgitter alerted the fire brigade and police after seeing a person floating in a lake in the morning.

It is still unclear how the man died, according to the police. The body is currently being examined by forensic experts in Hanover.

The DLRG, a relief organization for life saving in Germany, states that while some accidents can’t be avoided, swimmers should observe important rules to reduce the risks of swimming accidents. These include refraining from drinking alcohol before swimming and not overestimating your own strength.

When swimming, the body must not only constantly fight against water resistance, but also constantly adapt to changing temperatures and both use up a lot of energy, according to the DLRG. A cold shower before bathing can prepare the body for the water temperatures.

Those with colds and infections also shouldn’t swim, as this increases the risk of overstraining the body and its cardiovascular system.

All swimmers should moreover follow some basic rules before heading out into the water, such as considering whether or not the water has any currents or if it’s deep enough to jump into.

The safest option would be to swim in an area which has lifeguards, states the DLRG, adding that since many bodies of water inland (e.g. lakes) are unguarded, swimming accidents are much more frequent there than in pools or along the coast.



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