• Switzerland's news in English
 

Seven drown as Swiss heatwave continues

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
Thiem wins Swiss Open for third career title
Dominic Thiem serving on his way to victory. Alain Grosclaude / AFP

Thiem wins Swiss Open for third career title

Austria's Dominic Thiem claimed his third career ATP title when downing top seed David Goffin 7-5, 6-2 in the Swiss Open final on Sunday. READ  

Lausanne gets 2020 Winter Youth Olympics
Lausanne in winter. Photo: OTV/L Ryser

Lausanne gets 2020 Winter Youth Olympics

The Swiss city of Lausanne will host the third Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Friday. READ  

Swiss Siberia ends July with below-zero night
The village of La Brevine is known as the Siberia of Switzerland. Photo: Caroline Bishop

Swiss Siberia ends July with below-zero night

The hot weather across Switzerland in July may have broken records, but in the early hours of July 31st one village lived up to its frosty reputation when the temperature fell below zero. READ  

New SwissPass could lead to job cuts: union
SwissPass launches on August 1st. Photo: SBB

New SwissPass could lead to job cuts: union

The new SwissPass railcard, which launches on August 1st, could put ticket office jobs in jeopardy says transport staff union SEV. READ  

Naked performers take to Swiss city’s streets
The festival will stage performances in public places around the city. Photo: W Winkler

Naked performers take to Swiss city’s streets

Visitors to Biel/Bienne may be in for a surprise on August 21st-22nd as the Swiss city hosts the world’s first naked performance festival in the city’s streets. READ  

Swissport to be sold in multi-billion franc deal
Photo: AFP/Nicolas Maeterlinck

Swissport to be sold in multi-billion franc deal

Private equity company PAI Partners announced Thursday it is selling Zurich-based airport ground handling and cargo company Swissport International to China's HNA Group for 2.7 billion Swiss francs ($2.8 billion, 2.54 billion euros). READ  

Missing Swiss cats spark record helpline calls
Missing cats concerned 85 percent of calls. Photo: Dennis Jarvis

Missing Swiss cats spark record helpline calls

Switzerland’s recent heatwave resulted in a record number of cats going walkabout in the months of June and July, according to Swiss animal call centre STMZ. READ  

Swiss researcher creates yarn from abattoir waste
The yarn was spun from a gelatine-based thread. Photo: ETH Zurich

Swiss researcher creates yarn from abattoir waste

A PHD student at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich has devised a fibre with similar properties to merino wool from gelatine gathered from slaughterhouse waste. READ  

10 amazing places to be on Swiss National Day
Head to Zermatt for a sunset dinner overlooking the Matterhorn. Photo: Marc Weiler

10 amazing places to be on Swiss National Day

From mountain-top barbecues to sunrise breakfasts and cliff walks, follow The Local’s suggestions for making the most of Swiss national day on Saturday. READ  

Swiss watches stolen in second museum break-in
The town of Le Locle is a watchmaking centre. Photo: Neuchatel Tourism

Swiss watches stolen in second museum break-in

Burglars have stolen a number of valuable items from the watch museum in Le Locle, in the canton of Neuchâtel, just two months after a similar incident in nearby La Chaux-de-Fonds. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
10 amazing places to be on Swiss National Day
National
Swiss army pilfers French water to give to thirsty cows
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
National
The Expat Guide: Moving to Switzerland
National
Swiss army airlifts water to thirsty cows
International
Canary Islands: diver killed in collision with Swiss windsurfer
National
VIDEO: Seagull steals camera for amazing bird's eye selfie
Switzerland celebrates first ascent of Matterhorn
Politics
Immigrant recruits may not be loyal: Army chief
Solar Impulse 2 round-the-world flight halted for repairs
Society
Teenager gets high on vegetarian meal at Zurich club
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
Geneva's revolutionary marketing education
National
Greece seeks tax revenues from assets 'hidden' in Swiss banks
Culture
Paris police arrest Swiss artist for naked Eiffel Tower selfies
National
Scientists uncover largest Swiss dinosaur skeleton ever found
National
National weather office extends danger alerts as heatwave takes hold
National
Most severe heatwave in Switzerland since 2003 on the way
Travel
Bogglingly expensive Geneva club sandwiches remain 'priciest in world'
Politics
Anti-immigration nationalist party remains most popular: poll
National
Greek finance minister slams Swiss over lack of tax evasion info
Business & Money
Insects proposed for sale in Swiss supermarkets next year
National
'Oh God — I'm coming': noisy lovers' complaint goes public
National
Canton of Ticino threatens closing Italy border to asylum seekers
National
Just in case: Swiss National Bank prepares for Grexit 'crisis'
National
Russian crisis fuelled by sanctions threaten 40,000 Swiss jobs: study
National
Art Basel: Art for art's sake — or to make an investment?
National
New survey ranks Zurich Europe's priciest city for expatriates
National
Quarter of residents in Switzerland 'have multiple homes'
Features
Veggie lovers and 'flexitarians' challenge Swiss meat-eating habits
National
Forest officials struggle to save Switzerland's dying ash trees
Education
Historian finds ancient Egyptian papyrus texts in Basel uni library
National
Seven large Swiss employers back 'flexible work' charter
National
Basel police rescue of ducks forces closure of A2 motorway
National
Mother and daughter die as rain storms lash central Switzerland
Sport
'Stan the man' Wawrinka: French Open triumph 'completely crazy'
Culture
Expat's Zurich 'then and now' video shows how little the city has changed
National
Phoney Geneva police officers rob tourists and UN staff
Sport
Blatter's abrupt resignation seen as a 'stunning capitulation'
Features
Cleanup crews head to ski resorts to keep Swiss mountains tidy
Culture
Interlaken museum showcases works by Picasso using Caran d'Ache pencils
National
Low interest rates give tenants right to seek rent reductions in Switzerland
Sport
Switzerland's Blatter fends off critics to win fifth term as Fifa president
National
Agricultural researchers discover why Swiss cheese has holes
Culture
Swiss filmmaker returns home to shoot 'gender-fluid' film in Ticino
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

4,213
jobs available