• 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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available