Saturday, 20. December 2014
25. 07. 14. - 16:00
Business is booming for rubber rings in China after swimmers found that it was the only way to secure a space for themselves in the tightly packed public swimming pools and bathing beaches.
This week the highest temperatures of the year so far in China have had people heading for the pools, and even experienced swimmers have ended up buying the inflatable rings because it guarantees at least a small amount of space around themselves in the crush of bodies.
Quite simply when the temperatures get over 40 degrees centigrade as they had this week, there are too many people that want to take a dip and not enough public baths.
Kuan-Yin Wei, 43, manager of this pool in Taiyuan, the largest city of northern China's Shanxi province, said: "As soon as the Central Meteorological Observatory issued a yellow heat warning we knew we were in for a busy day, and sure enough within an hour hundreds of people were turning up to use our pool."
And even for those that find themselves a ring and a spot where they can jump into the water, there is still little opportunity to actually do any swimming, something which is attracting a lot of humour on Chinese social media sites.
On these snaps for example, a sign warns "no diving", a fact which attracted humour as stepping into the swimming pool looks almost impossible, and diving into the mass of people is certainly out of the question.
There also been numerous reports about the amount of bacteria in the pools either from people's bodies or from antisocial people that chose to relieve themselves once in the water.
One man who died after going swimming was found to have contracted an illness as a result of going swimming at a pool in Beijing. Tests on the water found that it was contaminated by urine and faecal matter, from what experts estimated had been around 47,000 swimmers.
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