The Vetokannas beach in Vantaa was swarming with children on Wednesday morning, July 18, 2018. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The Vetokannas beach in Vantaa, about 15 kilometers away from the Helsinki center, is crowded with sun-worshippers on the scorching Wednesday morning. It’s a beach located at the edge of an old gravel pit and surrounded by birches. Two lifeguards are observing the beach from the height of their tall chairs.

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“I’m using a life buoy,” so that I don’t drown, a girl, about five years old, shouts before jumping into the water.

“It’s terrible what happened to the mother,” an older couple discuss while looking at the distance.


A lonely swimmer. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

On Tuesday morning, around 11:00 in the morning, a mother, 36, was drowned here while trying to save her child from the water.

It was the partner of the woman, who had hurried and told to the lifeguard that the “situation is on.” Lifeguards jumped quickly into the water, to save the child.

When the child had been helped ashore with the assistance of bystanders, the lifeguards received information that the mother was still in the water.

The lifeguards began looking for the mother but couldn’t find her.

A diver from the rescue department was called in and eventually found her.

The incident happened at the so-called children’s side, where there were two lifeguards observing the beach.

“It’s terrible that the accident happened there where they had more surveillance,” said Veli-Matti Kallaslahti, chief of exercise services. “Our first understanding was that there was only a child in the water and we didn’t know that there were two people to be rescued. This is what we are now processing,” he said.

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