Cologne (dpa / lnw) - The Cologne fire brigade warns people against swimming in the Rhine. "We rate the danger as very high and strongly advise against swimming in the Rhine," said the deputy head of the professional fire brigade, Volker Ruster, on Wednesday in Cologne. Firefighters showed how rescue operations in the river are carried out. This year, two people have already drowned in the Rhine in the city of Cologne alone - the summer season has only just begun. Nine people could be rescued from the Rhine.
The strong and unpredictable currents make the Rhine particularly dangerous. Water vortices can pull you to the bottom. "Even if you are an experienced swimmer, you have no chance of working against the current," said Ruster. If you are drawn into the Rhine, it is important to drift with the current and keep your head above water. "That's probably the best chance of survival."
If you see a drowning person in the Rhine, a lifebelt should be thrown as quickly as possible and the emergency call dialed to give the exact location. "Our message is: don't jump after them uncontrollably and try to be the hero," said a spokesman for the fire department.
Current rescuers from the fire brigade can then dive for the person. Other firefighters control the shore areas. The faster a person is rescued, the higher the chances of survival. After six to twelve minutes, however, the chances of survival already drop significantly.