Lankan tourist drowns on holiday in Switzerland

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A 22-year-old Sri Lankan man drowned in a pond on Tuesday in the northeastern Swiss city of St Gallen.

The police were alerted at around 7:30 pm on Tuesday evening that a man who entered the Drei Weieren (Three Ponds) did not resurface.

Several dozen swimmers in the water immediately began a search for the tourist. An off-duty lifeguard who happened to be present also took part and coordinated the operation until the arrival of the emergency rescue team. A short while afterward, the first divers of the St Gallen city police arrived.

Unfortunately, the man could only be recovered lifeless after about 30 minutes. He was found about six meters from the shore at a depth of 3-4 meters. According to preliminary findings, he did not know how to swim and had entered the pond alone.

The scene of the accident was closed off for about two hours. In addition to the St Gallen city police, the St Gallen cantonal police, the St Gallen professional fire brigade and the St Gallen emergency rescue team took part in the search operation. The exact circumstances of the drowning are being investigated by the public prosecutor’s office and the St Gallen city police.

A total of 37 people drowned in Switzerland in 2018 (statistics up to October 8 only) and 41 in 2017.