The dangers of Moscow’s heatwave

This summer, a record number of people have already drowned in Moscow’s rivers and ponds. The main reason for the high death rate is consumption of alcohol in the summer heat.

On Wednesday evening, most people swimming in the Bolshoy Sadovy pond in northern Moscow were consuming beer between swims, and some were even drinking vodka.

Many residents choose to swim in the nearest pond or water reservoir, places that are often unsuitable for swimming and not monitored by lifeguards.

Vladimir Plyasunov, head of the Moscow city lifeguard service said “in 90 per cent of cases, they are men and there has also been a new trend: many of those who drown come from countries in the former Soviet Union. They don’t know how to swim, but they want to very much.”

This year’s abnormally hot summer has demonstrated that there is a shortage of places suitable for swimming in Moscow, an issue that city authorities prefer not to comment on. They blame the deaths solely on the swimmers themselves. Under the current law I Moscow individuals swimming in an unapproved location could be fined up to 2,500 Roubles (£50).