Six deaths in 24 hours as Germany suffers spate of swimming accidents

When the weather gets hot, Germans like nothing more than to take to the water. Yet swimming in lakes and rivers can also be highly dangerous, as a series of six tragic accidents in just 24 hours attests.

Six deaths in 24 hours as Germany suffers spate of swimming accidents
Photo: DPA

On Monday afternoon, police confirmed the death of a six-year-old boy who had been taken to hospital on Sunday after a swimming accident at the Neumühlsee lake in Baden-Württemberg.

The nature of the accident remained unclear on Monday, but the tragedy was the latest in a spate of fatal swimming accidents in Germany.

Over one 24-hour period at the beginning of this week, six people died as a result of apparent accidents in natural bodies of water, Bild reported on Monday.

In Küssaburg, near the Swiss border, an elderly man drowned while bathing in the Rhine on Sunday afternoon. The 83-year-old was found after his friend and fellow bather alerted police. After a joint search and rescue action by Swiss and German authorities, rescuers were unable to revive the man.

In a third case in Baden-Württemberg, a man suspected of having been under the influence of alcohol was found lifeless after having set out onto the Baggersee on top of a lilo on Sunday evening.

At the other end of the country in Schleswig-Holstein, a man discovered a body while paddle-boarding at a beach in the Baltic Sea on Sunday morning.

Near the Bavarian town of Ulm, a 13-year-old boy was rescued by divers after having disappeared underwater. Though rescuers were initially able to revive the teenager, authorities confirmed on Monday that he had died in hospital.

Finally, in Lower Saxony, a 23-year-old man who was unable to swim drowned after apparently misjudging the depth of a lake.

In other incidents, a 5-year-old girl was saved from drowning at a lake near Hamburg, and a 27-year-old man is still missing after disappearing while swimming in a lake near Dresden.

Bild reported that more people had died as a result of swimming accidents in the first seven months of 2018 than in the entirety of 2017.

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