Two Belgium firefighters died trying to save a swan in violent currents late last week. The incident on the River Ourthe in Southern Belgium began with the first firefighter getting into trouble in heavy currents during the rescue attempt of the swan, local media reported. The second jumped in in an attempt to save the first.
7sur7 reported that a pumper was initially called to the scene and requested divers to assist in the rescue of the swan. After saving the swan, the first firefighter/diver became incapacitated. The second jumped in to assist.
Local media reported that Yves Peeters died on the scene and Christian Dejardin was transported by helicopter to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Both were caught in the currents.
“This is an operation that surprised us because it would be an easy intervention has he said. We still do not understand what happened, we have no precise information about what happened,” Hervé Fanuel, spokesman Fire Liège, told local media. “All we know is that our firefighters were caught in swirl of the Ourthe, one on one bank and the other on the other bank and that they were found unconscious.”
One of the firefighters reportedly died from cardiac arrest during the ordeal.
Both firefighters were members of the fire service in Liège.