Father and son in drowning accident

The father died, but his three year-old son survived the ordeal, when their little inflatable dinghy capsized in the middle of a lake in western Sweden on Saturday afternoon.

Father and son in drowning accident

“This is inexplicable and tragic,” Manne Björnsson, head of Viaredssjön’s sailing society and a friend of the family, said to local newspaper Borås Tidning.

The accident occurred on Saturday afternoon in Viaredssjön, a lake by Sandared in south-western Sweden.

Emergency services received an alarm call at 2.43pm, about a man and a boy floating in the water.

The little boy managed to get to shore on his own, but his father was still lying some 80 metres out in the water when emergency services showed up.

CPR was immediately performed on the man, who was then taken to Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg by ambulance helicopter. Still, his life could not be saved.

The water in the lake is still very cold.

“I don’t know exactly, but it’s no more than seven or eight degrees,” said the emergency services’ Thomas Gunnarsson to Borås Tidning.

How the accident occurred remains a mystery. The man and his son headed out in their dinghy, both wearing life jackets.

The deceased man was also a competent sailor, explains Manne Björnsson, and even a leader of the lake’s sailing society.

“The boat must’ve turned over somehow. It’s completely inexplicable. I don’t understand anything.”

The Borås police force is also unsure of how the accident occurred, but don’t suspect that any crime has been committed.

“This is a tragic accident,” said police officer Johan Novenius.

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Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.