• Switzerland's news in English

River and lake bathers urged to take care

Morven McLean · 16 Jul 2015, 12:58

Published: 16 Jul 2015 12:58 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The number of casualties by mid-July was almost as high as in the whole of last year. Nine of the victims were foreign nationals.

Bathing rules, currently in German, French and Italian, are now to be translated into a number of additional languages.

The number of victims is expected to increase as the summer continues. In 2013, another hot, sunny summer, 52 people drowned.

“The good weather is a factor,” said Philipp Binaghi, spokesperson for the Swiss life savers society (SLRG), in a report by the Swiss news agency SDA.

The more people go swimming the more likely accidents are, he said. But swimmers are also not aware enough of the risks, he added.

“Most accidents could be avoided if people followed the six bathing rules,” Binaghi said.


The six rules are:

1)   Children must be accompanied by an adult. Young children must not be out of eyeshot.

2)   Never enter the water in a state of intoxication or under the influence of drugs. Never swim on a full or empty stomach.

3)   Never jump into the water if you are overheated. The body needs time to adjust its temperature.

4)   Never dive into murky water, or bodies of water that you do not know.

5)   Air mattresses and swim aids do not belong in deep water: they do not provide protection.

6)   Never swim a long stretch alone. Even the fittest can experience sudden weakness.


Story continues below…

The nine foreigners who died included two Eritrean asylum seekers and one person each from Britain, India, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, Morocco and Nigeria.

Binaghi said that while the Swiss grew up around water, thanks to all the lakes and rivers, this did not always apply to people from other countries.

The SLRG now intends to translate the six bathing rules into four new languages: Tigrinya (spoken in Eritrea), Arabic, Tamil and English.

The second at-risk group was young adults, the SLRG spokesperson said, accounting for 30 per cent of deaths.

More than three-quarters of the casualties were men, with women and children making up around ten per cent each.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Morven McLean (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Protect Swiss waterways or lose our fish': WWF
Photo: Richi Stadelmann/WWF

Eighty-five percent of fish species in Switzerland are under threat, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

SBB pilots new annual pass – costing 12,200 francs
The 'door-to-door' pass includes use of an electric car. Photo: SBB

Swiss federal railways (SBB) is looking for 100 people willing to pilot a new annual transport pass that includes use of an electric car.

Immigration to Switzerland falls as emigration rises
File photo: The Local

Immigration in Switzerland has fallen considerably this year, according to official figures.

Wawrinka aces his way into Basel quarterfinals
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The home favourite returns to the quarterfinals of the Swiss Indoors for the first time in five years.

Illegal immigrant dies after setting himself on fire
The victim was treated at University Hospital Zurich. Photo: University Hospital Zurich

The 45-year-old Tunisian was threatened with deportation.

Swiss government rejects call for second immigration vote
Photo: Justus Blumer/Christophe G

The Swiss government has rejected a popular initiative calling for a revote on plans to limit immigration.

Bern: companies should report salary inequality by law
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Swiss government wants to force small companies to examine their rates of pay every four years.

Husband in custody after Orbe body identified
File photo: Bas Leenders

The deceased is a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house with her husband.

Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
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
jobs available