Hundreds drown amid Eastern Europe heatwave

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Hundreds drown amid Eastern Europe heatwave

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With alcohol in the mix, there is a sinister side to the heatwave gripping eastern Europe as dozens more people are dying as they try to keep cool.

Last weekend alone, 52 people drowned in Poland, where temperatures have reached 36 degrees celsius in some regions.

People have been taking to fountains, park lakes and rivers, some of them the worse for drink.

“People drink alcohol in the water, on water beds, in dinghies,” said Krzysztof Sadowski, a lifeguard in Nysa in the south. “There are several such cases every day. We warn them but usually in vain.”

In Russia, whether the worse for drink or not, fun in the sun has also turned to tragedy. Last month, more than 1,200 people drowned nationwide.

Moscow has not been this hot since records began, with temperatures well into the thirties for weeks.

In Ukraine, more than 800 people have drowned since the start of the so-called “swimming season” on May 1. Some 115 of them were children.

As for the heatwave, there is no end in sight.