Search continues for Javanese governor’s son missing in Swiss river

Swimming in rivers and lakes is a popular past time in Switzerland in the summer months. Keystone / Anthony Anex

Swiss police continue their search for the son of an Indonesian island governor, who went missing last week while swimming in the River Aare, near to Bern.

This content was published on May 30, 2022 minutes

Emmeril Mumtadz, 23, was reported missing to canton Bern police on Thursday morning. He is the son of West Java’s Governor Ridwan Kamil.

The family is in Switzerland looking for a school for Mumtadz to continue his studies, Indonesian media reportsExternal link.

But while swimming in the river on the outskirts of the Swiss capital, he was dragged away by currents. 

On Monday morning, Bern police said there had been no sign of the missing man. The extensive search is continuing with foot patrols, boats, drones and divers, police officials tweeted.

Swimming in rivers and lakes is a popular summer pastime in Switzerland. Thousands of office workers in Geneva, Basel, Bern, Zurich and elsewhere spend their lunch breaks in river or lake baths and return for a cool swim after work.

This activity has become more attractive as average temperatures rise, which places more pressure on local authorities to safely monitor the situation.

Drowning is a relatively rare cause of death when looking at the size of Switzerland’s population.

The latest statistics from the Swiss Life Saving Association state that 46 people drowned in lakes and rivers in 2020, which is well down from 89 drowning deaths recorded in the heatwave year of 2003.

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