Bonn Despite warnings, swimmers have to be rescued from the Rhine again and again. Drowning fatalities have climbed by one third.
Emergency services were called to the Rhine River in Bonn and Cologne to rescue five swimmers in three different incidents - and that was just on Tuesday. One incident occurred in Niederkassel when a man went into the river in the afternoon and disappeared shortly afterwards. A search for him had to be ended at 8 p.m. because of the approaching darkness. Another search was launched in Niederkassel in the evening for two persons but the search was ended when people said they had seen the two swimmers leave the river.
In Cologne, the Fire Department said they were also called on Tuesday to rescue two swimmers. They were able to rescue one but the other remained missing.
There has been a rising number of cases in the past week in which fire departments are called to the Rhine for emergency rescues in the water. According to the Deutsche-Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft (DLRG), a relief organization for life saving in Germany, more than 60 persons have drowned in North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) since the beginning of the year. This is one third more than in the previous year.
Police and the DLRG continue to warn people not to swim in the Rhine. Even if it looks harmless at first glance, the strong current can even pull away strong swimmers. (Orig. text: Alexander Hertel)