‘There is no safe ice’

‘There is no safe ice’
Photo: realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov

Tatarstan rescuers are preparing for the winter season in water bodies. The season in the Kama River and then in the Volga River that will soon start being covered with snow as well as other rivers is about to end soon. Accidents because of people on thin ice are traditionally expected. Vice head of the main Tatarstan office of the Russian Ministry of Emergencies Yury Venediktov explained the situation.

Fewer water-related accidents and casualties

94 accidents where 69 people died, including eight children, have been registered in Tatarstan water bodies since early 2023. This is less than during the same period last year when 107 situations of this kind arose with 81 victims, including nine minors.

While rivers aren’t yet covered with ice, Tatarstan residents are actively using small ships, including for fishing. As Yury Venediktov claims, risks of accidents go considerably up during this low season — these risks can be caused even by the wind.

realnoevremya.ru/Maxim Platonov (archive)

“Cases of upended small ships are registered every year because of manoeuvre rule violations, sudden worsening of weather conditions, collision with underwater obstacles. This year we have registered six accidents with small ships where five people died, four were rescued,” Yury Venediktov said that almost all the cases happened to those people who didn’t have a life vest on.

realnoevremya.ru/ Maxim Platonov (archive)

River navigation in Tatarstan coming to an end

River navigation that started this year in late April goes on. It is due to end this month.

“Navigation goes on. According to data of the Volga Basin of Internal Water Routes, the navigation season in the Kama River is scheduled to end from 10-12 November and in the Volga River from 21 November,” he claimed.

realnoevremya.ru/ Maxim Platonov (archive)

Yury Venediktov said two weeks ago that the ice is forecasted to cover the Kuybyshev Water Reservoir in Tatarstan three or four days later. It is expected to be approximately on 24-29 November.

The most probable expected date of the start of freezing in the Nizhnekamsk Water Reservoir on 16 November. This is five days earlier than the average dates.

The process of freezing in water bodies will start when the water and air temperature will be three or four degrees below zero. Now it is +5 degrees.

realnoevremya.ru/ Maxim Platonov (archive)

Rescuers are preparing to keep an eye on fishers who sometimes risk and walk on thin ice. There are tens of thousands of fans of this activity in Tatarstan, said Yury Venediktov.

“The most important thing to do is to understand that ice appears differently in different parts of a water body. There is no safe ice,” he warned.

Tatarstan residents promised more beaches

Yury Venediktov also reminded us of results of the summer season by announcing a greater number of beaches for swimming the following year. 15 news areas are expected to open in Tatarstan in 2024.

“62 accidents were registered during the swimming season, 52 people died, including six children. 31 people were rescued. This is less than last year. 57 died last year, including nine children. 50 people were rescued,” he claimed.

realnoevremya.ru/Dinar Fatykhov (archive)

He called swimming in unequipped places as the main cause of people’s deaths in water bodies in summer. Due to this, work on increasing the number of beaches is actively done in Tatarstan.

“56 beaches were registered during the swimming season. It is eight beaches more than last year,” said Yury Venediktov.

According to him, there are 22 beach projects in Tatarstan now. Seven projects were implemented in 2023.

realnoevremya.ru/ Dinar Fatykhov (archive)

“We expect 15 beaches more next year and plan to raise their number to 71,” he said.

Tatiana Dyomina