Swimmer drowns after being attacked by swan

July 22nd, 2010 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Riga, July 22 (DPA) A 32-year-old man drowned in the Latvian capital Riga after being attacked by a swan, the National Fire and Rescue Service told the Baltic News Service Thursday.
According to reports, eyewitnesses said the man had gone swimming with his pregnant wife in the Daugava river in Sarkandaugava district of the Latvian capital Wednesday.

When a swan swimming nearby attacked his wife, the man tried to protect her and was himself attacked. The woman made it to the shore but the man drowned after being struck on the head.

Other swimmers pulled the man out of the water and called an ambulance but he was already dead when the paramedics arrived.

Local ornithologists suggested the swan could have been defending a nearby nest.

A total of 17 people drowned in Latvia last weekend as people sought to cool off during a heatwave. At least 40 people have so far been confirmed as drowned this month.

Emergency services and the government’s interior ministry have urged people to take care in Latvia’s numerous rivers, lakes and beaches. “There is a tragic accident on the water on almost every warm and sunny day,” the agencies said.

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