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Two river surfers drown

Two river surfers died on Tuesday in separate incidents, underscoring the fact that the new sport is not without danger.

This content was published on July 22, 2009 - 17:01

One of the victims, a 24-year-old, perished on the Aare River in canton Solothurn after attaching his surfboard with a rope to the gate of a dam.

Police presume he became tangled and was unable to free himself. Bystanders cut the rope and one person jumped into the water to try to help, only to be rescued by firefighters and taken to hospital for observation.

The second victim, an inexperienced surfer, drowned on the Reuss River in canton Aargau.

A passing canoeist managed to cut the rope attached to the board of the victim, who then floated to shore where rescuers unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate him for an hour.

River surfing is increasingly popular on Swiss rivers. Surfers usually attach their boards to a bridge or tree with rope. Some ropes include springs and at a certain point of tension the rider is propelled against the current at speeds of up to 60km/h.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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