Lincoln dad drowns during family picnic swim
A father drowned in front of his partner and three-year-old son after jumping into the River Witham during a picnic.
Maksim Petrovs is believed to have caught his foot while doing an underwater backflip in the river at 8pm on Sunday, August 18.
Police, firefighters, paramedics and the air ambulance were scrambled in an unsuccessful bid to save the 31-year-old Latvian from the water near Spa Street, Lincoln.
His partner, Olga Kirillova, 26, said their son, Daniel, was struggling to understand what had happened.
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"Daniel has been asking lots of questions about his dad, but nobody has told him yet because he is only three years old," she said through a translator.
Miss Kirillova said Mr Petrovs, of Florence Street, Lincoln, had been fishing while she and Daniel sat with friends nearby.
"When he was a bit drunk he used to swim all the time. But then he said 'I can do a backflip'. He was drunk, and he went to do the backflip.
"Our friend saw the bubbles coming out of the water and her boyfriend went underwater to try to save him."
Mr Petrovs was eventually pulled out but was later declared dead at Lincoln County Hospital.
His partner said: "We met in 2008, in Latvia. He loved kids, he was very funny, a joker.
"He was always running, dancing, smiling."
As well as son Daniel, Mr Petrovs leaves a step-daughter Veronika, 6.
He was a friend of Latvian land worker Vasilijs Ransevs, who was found dead in a flat on Portland Street on June 16. Six people have been arrested by detectives investigating Mr Ransevs' death.
A police spokesperson said the death was a tragic reminder that fooling around in water can be fatal.
"Unfortunately, when we have periods of hot weather, people drown in ponds, rivers, open water and the sea in an inadvisable effort to cool off," he said.
"We strongly advise people not to swim in places anywhere else other than traditional swimming pools, seaside beaches, and also particularly not when they have consumed alcohol."