Page last updated at 10:27 GMT, Monday, 9 August 2010 11:27 UK

Close-Up: Swimming in Berne's fast-flowing city river

This BBC News series focuses on aspects of life in countries and cities around the world. What may seem ordinary and familiar to the people who live there can be surprising to those who do not.

Much of Europe has had some sweltering summer weather over recent weeks. So it's not surprising that everyone's looking for a cool and shady spot, and maybe even a refreshing dip.

But how easy is this in the centre of a land-locked capital city?

In the Swiss capital Berne, the locals have come up with their own solution using the fast-flowing river Aare.

And as Imogen Foulkes discovers, it is not an activity that is advisable for everyone; swimmers must be confident and know what they are doing before they take the plunge. Bernhard Fleuti of Berne's life saving association is one of those on stand-by in case things go wrong.

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