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Swim ban after Lake Festival drowning

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Swim ban after Lake Festival drowning
Festival goers camp out by the Schwarzlsee. Photo: lake-festival.at
13:43 CEST+02:00
After the tragic drowning of a 17-year-old at Austria's dance music Lake Festival, organisers have forbidden festival goers to swim and have increased security patrols.

Police divers recovered the young man's body from the lake on Thursday afternoon, after he was reported missing on Wednesday. It's thought he drowned whilst attempting to swim across the lake.

In a short press conference on Thursday, festival organiser Klaus Leutgeb announced that security measures have been enhanced and that people would be banned from swimming in the lake for the remainder of the festival.

He has employed an additional 30 security staff, and has three boats with rescue teams on the lake, around the clock. “Security guards will be employed day and night to patrol the shores of the lake. We've taken every precaution we can, it was a tragic accident,” he said.

Leutgeb said that he had considered cancelling the festival, which costs around one million euros to stage, but that he would have had to send 500 DJs home which would leave him in breach of contract. His lawyer said he had advised against cancelling the event, "even though it was what he felt was the right thing to do". 

The festival, at the Schwarzlsee near Graz, takes place over four days, finishing on Saturday 22nd. The entrance fee to the lake is included in the festival pass, with activities like water skiing and wakeboarding on offer.

On Thursday evening a minute's silence was held to remember the dead 17-year-old from Styria. He had gone for a swim in the lake on Wednesday afternoon, with some friends.

Police officer Klaus Rexeis said he was reported missing by two girls who had been swimming with him but had turned back to the shore, and then lost sight of him.

When he didn't turn up at his camping pitch his friends began to look for him, and called the police. His body was found in the lake, at a depth of nine metres.

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