GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Tribune de Genève carries an article in French about the dangers, often under-estimated, of swimming in the Rhone. The newspaper interviewed Geneva authorities and specialists after police announced that the death last weekend of a 21-year-old Saudi youth who was swimming with friends when he drowned was the eight accidental drowning this year.
One expert went so far as to say it is simply unwise, always, to swim in the Rhone. Another notes that 60 percent of those who drown in large rivers are good swimmers. Large rivers, but especially the Rhone in Geneva are dangerous: the Rhone there is subject to changes at the Seujet dam which regulates the level of Lake Geneva. Temperatures are colder than expected and can cause cramping, and the current is strong – it’s not always easy to swim back to the riverbank.