Berlin - Rescue divers Thursday rescued a drowning victim from Weißer See in the northeastern borough of Weissensee but he died a short time later.

"Our diving specialists were able to rescue a male from Weissensee. Resuscitation was begun immediately but was ultimately unsuccessful," the fire department tweeted at 9.24pm.

The 25-year-old had swum to a platform in the lake but then suddenly called for help, according to police. A witness tried to help the man but the victim sank below the water's surface before he could be rescued.

The drowning came a day after a 17-year-old was confirmed drowned in the Rhine and a 13- as well as 14-year-old were also presumed dead after swimming in the river near Duisburg in western Germany.

Fire brigade divers found the 25-year-old on the bottom of the lake and brought him ashore, where resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful. Detectives have taken over the investigation.

Weißer See itself was at the centre of a winter time controversy when a police helicopter hovered over the lake in hopes of scaring people off the ice then covering the lake - critics said the action was too heavy-handed. 

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