• Switzerland's news in English

Seven drown as Swiss heatwave continues

Malcolm Curtis · 20 Aug 2012, 10:19

Published: 20 Aug 2012 10:19 GMT+02:00

Among the victims was a 37-year-old man who died on Saturday in Lake Geneva while swimming near the Pâquis outoor baths in Geneva.

Cantonal police said they were alerted to the man’s disappearance late in the afternoon.

His body was discovered by a police diver 3.7 metres beneath the water’s surface.

A 20-year-old woman lost her life the same day while canyoning in the Ragn da Ferrara river in the canton of Graubünden.

The woman became stuck between two rocks in a narrow section of the river canyon where the current was particularly strong, cantonal police said.

A male companion attempted to use a knife to cut the life jacket she was wearing, police said.

However, the woman was dragged by the force of the current under water.

All rescue attempts failed and recovery of the body proved difficult and costly because of the difficult terrain, police said.

In Bern, an 80-year-old man drowned in the Aar River, also on Saturday.

Passersby noticed the man’s body floating in the river around 6pm, Bern cantonal police said.

Rescue officials were unable to resuscitate the man, police said.

Elsewhere, a professional fisherman was found dead in Lake Neuchâtel on Friday near the community of Cheseaux-Noréaz in the canton of Vaud.

Police believe his death was accidental.

On the same day, a 33-year-old Polish man residing in Switzerland drowned while swimming in Lake Thun in the Bernese Oberland, near Oberhofen (canton of Bern).

These incidents followed the death on Thursday of a two-year-old boy after he fell into his family’s swimming pool in Fully, in the canton of Valais.

The boy’s seven-year-old brother, who also fell in the pool, remains in critical condition at Lausanne’s university hospital.

The boys apparently breached a security fence surrounding the pool while their mother was briefly away from the house.

The drownings occurred in the first few days of a heatwave that MeteoSwiss, the national weather office, predicts will continue through the week.

Temperatures as high as 35.5 degrees were recorded in Valais on Sunday and many Swiss regions are expected to see the thermometer rise above 30 degrees for the next five days.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
No blanket IOC doping ban for Russian athletes
The IOC ruled that 800m runner Yuliya Stepanova, who turned whistleblower on doping in Russian athletics, could not go to Rio even as a neutral. Photo: AFP

At a meeting in Lausanne on Sunday, the International Olympic Committee on Sunday ordered individual sports federations to decide whether Russian competitors should take part in the Rio Games after failing to agree on a complete ban over Russia's state-run doping.

Van Gogh, Monet paintings seized in Malaysia graft probe
The works were seized following a request from the United States, one of several countries probing alleged massive fraud at the Malaysian state fund 1MDB. Photo: AFP

Switzerland has seized a painting by Vincent Van Gogh and two others by Claude Monet as part of the global investigation into Malaysia's scandal-tainted sovereign wealth fund, an official said on Friday.

IOC reports more doping failures pre-Rio
President Thomas Bach said the retesting showed the IOC's commitment to fight doping. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee reports 45 new doping failures from Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Swiss pilots: don’t hunt Pokémon from the air
Pokemon hunting has become a world-wide craze. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The Swiss civil aviation office hears reports of people playing the popular new game from helicopters.

‘Nelson’ the black swan found dead in Montreux
File photo: Noel Reynolds

The non-native swan caused a media storm earlier this month.

Zurich school threatened over links to Erdogan opponent
File photo: Aris Messini/AFP

School targeted over claims it is associated with Fethullah Gulen.

Violent storms hit Switzerland as planet heats up (again)
File photo: Benjamin Benson

Globally, June 2016 was the hottest month on record.

Swiss sports court upholds ban on Russian athletes
Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva (centre) is among the athletes affected. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/Wang Zhao/Greg Baker/AFP

The decision by Lausanne's Court of Arbitration for Sport is a "funeral for athletics" said one Russian athlete.

Swiss Post moves to accept debit cards – sometimes
Photo: Swiss Post

By December customers will be able to pay for products (but not their bills) by debit card.

Study: a fifth of Swiss spy on neighbours
22 percent admit to watching their neighbours. File photo: Chase Elliott Clark

And 40 percent of Swiss feel watched in their homes.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Grand Tours Project
Why you should get on your bike in Switzerland
Photo: The Local
Swiss village tells landlords: don’t rent homes to refugees
Photo: Rolf Krahl/Christophe G
Survey: world willing to pay more for ‘Swissness’
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: The Local
Chaos in Como after Swiss send back refugees
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: AFP/The Local
Nine top celebrity hotspots in Switzerland
Photo: Graubunden police
World-class Swiss climber Norbert Joos dies on ‘home mountain’
Photo: Kathleen Waters
Italian ‘ignored’ by Swiss schools in language wars
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: Whitepod
The quirkiest places to stay in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Migrant busted trying to sneak into Switzerland in a suitcase
Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read
Basel suffers wettest six months for 150 years
Photo: Georges Gobet/AFP
Why Swiss science could suffer badly from Brexit fallout
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Robert Valencia
Swiss couple in Nicaragua told to give back adopted daughter
Photo: Zurich cantonal police
Police hunt prisoner on the run in Zurich murder case
Photo: Christoph G
Switzerland sets out law on expelling foreign criminals
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Bernacqua
Drone shocks nudists at Swiss waterpark
Photo: Basel Justice and Security Dept
New signs lay down law and order for Basel prostitutes
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Daniel Orth
Muslim school kids denied passport for refusing swimming lessons
Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP
Swiss-EU talks ‘must’ resume this summer, says President
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
File photo: Kochtopf
Anger as Swiss council plans non-pork school lunches
File photo: Jen/Flickr
Geneva could get 'café fellatio' by end of year
How Switzerland's scenery inspired some of the world's greatest authors
jobs available