Despite a series of traffic accidents, the Midsummer weekend was relatively quiet, the Rescue Board reported. Apart from the usual drunk drivers and swimmers, the number of calls made to emergency services was low.
For police, rescue, and ambulance crews, the weekend began on Saturday with 12 severe traffic accidents. A total of 16 people got injured in accidents across the whole range of traffic participants, from pile-ups to motorcycle and ATV accidents, injured cyclists and pedestrians run over.
At popular seaside and lakeside Midsummer venues like Lake Pühajärv in Valga County, lifeguards struggled to keep drunk partygoers away from the water. That concerns about drunk swimmers aren't exaggerated was confirmed by the weekend's only fatality: the Rescue Board reported a drowning.
Despite Midsummer proper only beginning on Sunday, in plenty of places around the country festivities started as early as Friday evening, prompting the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) to intensify their roadside checks. The PPA's officers caught several dozen drunk drivers over the weekend, according to media. On Midsummer Day on Monday, the number of drunk drivers reached 114, according to the PPA.
Martin Lambing, in charge of the Rescue Board's Midsummer-related operations at the Rescue Board, told ERR on Monday that though they had a lot of work, there are no serious accidents to report.
As Lambing explained, Midsummer's main difference to any other summer weekend, as far as the Rescue Board is concerned, are calls about bonfires getting out of control. "There were calls about unguarded fires, bonfires that got too big, and fires too close to buildings," he said. "But there were cases as well where rescuers were called only to find that people had actually prepared well."
Rescue Board officers also patrolled several areas to check bonfires. Beyond its efforts over the Midsummer weekend, the board also ran a preventive campaign leading up to the festivities, during which some 430 individuals registered as fire guards.
Editor: Dario Cavegn