At least 71 people drowned in the span of just 24 hours in Russia yesterday as throngs of people headed for lakes and streams to beat the summer heat.
Russia is experiencing its hottest summer in decades with temperatures soaring well above 35 degrees celsius.
The Russian Emergency Ministry says this is a record number of drowning deaths in a single day.
In 2009 2,733 Russians drowned with most most deaths resulting from swimmers who were drunk.
Observers say cases of heavily drinking vodka and swimming are rampant.
In one case six school children drowned because their summer camp counselors were drunk.
Close to 2,500 people already have drowned this year and the death toll is expected to far exceed last year's.