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Rescue services warn of cold water risk after Kuopio diving board mishap

A 20-year-old man was rushed to hospital when he was pulled out of a North Savo lake after spending 20 minutes underwater.

Väinölänniemen ranta ja hyppytornit Kuopiossa.
Väinölänniemi diving boards. Image: Markku Malinen / Yle

Finnish fire and rescue services warned of the danger of cold water after a man had to be resuscitated after losing consciousness and spending 20 minutes underwater after diving from 10 metres into a cold lake.

The man’s friends had tried to pull him out of the lake without success, before eventually a rescue diver dragged him from the 4 metre deep water.

Kuopio region fire chief Pekka Kaartinen said that they were alerted to the scene at around 1:30am on Tuesday. There were no signs of life when he came out of the water, but he was resuscitated and his heart started beating again.

“When you jump from 10 metres and the cold water comes as a surprise, that can take your breath and temporarily immobilise you,” said Kaartinen. “If you don’t recover quickly, then you won’t get back to the surface.”

The same Väinölänniemi diving spot was the scene of a tragedy last summer when a 17-year-old drowned after jumping from the tower.

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