Heat blamed for spate of drownings

Sweden's scorching summer has been blamed for an increase in the number of drowning deaths.

Heat blamed for spate of drownings

Over the weekend four people drowned while three others were hospitalized after almost dying in the water.

“The fine weather is unfortunately a large reason,” said Anders Wernersten of the Swedish lifesaving river rescue organization (livräddningssällskapet.)

In the first three weeks of July almost one person a day drowned in Sweden. Most of the victims have been men.

On Saturday three men drowned in different parts of the country. A 20-year old died in Kalbergs canal in Stockholm after being found in a dinghy boat which he was using to compete in a race.

Another man was found lifeless in Upplands-Bro north Stockholm on the dock. In Blekinge a 30-year old was discovered dead on Saturday night after swimming in a triathlon race earlier in the day.

On Sunday an elderly woman was found dead in a canal in Kristianstad.

“The nice weather prompts many people to turn to water. You might think that drowning numbers wouldn’t increase due to all the information on how to behave but sadly that is not the case,” added Wernersten.

Along with the deaths a man in his 60s was treated for serious injuries after a drowning incident in Skåne. Several reports of near drownings involving children also occurred over the weekend but none were fatal.

Deaths caused by drowning have risen this year according to statistics released by the Swedish lifesaving river rescue organization.

A total of 72 people drowned up until July 22nd compared to 55 for the same period in 2012.

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Divers find tractor teen’s body under the ice

The 17-year-old boy who went missing on Christmas Day when his tractor plunged through the ice was found dead on Friday afternoon.

“He was found at lunch time with the help of an underwater camera that was used to find the body,” said Tommy Lindh of the Värmlands police to the Expressen newspaper.

The boy was out on a tractor with a friend late on Christmas Even on Lake Lillsjön, northwest of Sunne in western Sweden, when the pair plunged into the icy water below.

The 17-year-old’s companion managed to get to safety, but his friend never resurfaced.

Emergency services were called immediately, but it wasn’t until the early hours of the morning, however, that divers could begin searching for the body.

The tractor was found the next day 11 metres below the surface.

The boys were reportedly trying to clear snow off the lake’s surface with the tractor.

“They were trying to plough a track on the ice. I think they were eventually planning to make a track to drive cars on,” said Lennart Edvardsson, head of emergency services in Sunne, to P4 Värmland at the time.

Police said it took so long to find the body because of unfavourable conditions beneath the ice, which may also have led to the ice breaking in the first place.

Local police spokesperson Thomas Hertzberg said the lake muddy bed emitted swamp gas that most likely contributed to the accident.

“The gas may have weakened the ice from below, as this ice was thick enough to carry the weight of a tractor,” he told the Nya Wermlands-Tidningen newspaper.

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