Russian lawyer at 40 plunged in frozen river to commemorate Orthodox Epiphany. She was then swept beneath the surface of the water as her children scream in terror

  • The 40-year-old mother of two was carried away by the frozen river before her children.
  • The St Petersburg lawyer plunged into the river to mark Orthodox Epiphany
  • Footage shows that she is pulled by strong currents in Russia’s Oredezh River.

Mother-of-two, who had jumped into an ice hole in a frozen stream to celebrate Orthodox Epiphany, was carried away in strong currents by her screaming children.

In a deeply disturbing video, the 40-year old woman is seen plunging into the Oredezh River in Vyra (a small village to the south of St Petersburg) on Wednesday.

After the St Petersburg-based lawyer was pulled underneath the ice, panic ensued.

The distressed child screams and the mother is heard saying, “Mama Mama, Mama” as she tries to console them.

A mother-of-two, 40, jumped into a frozen river to mark Christian Orthodox Epiphany on Wednesday

To mark the Christian Orthodox Epiphany, a 40-year-old mother of two jumped in a freezing river.

A rectangular hole had been cut into the thick ice on the Oredezh River near Vyra, a village south of St Petersburg, Russia

She jumped in put the strong current swept her away and she is presumed to have drowned

The thick ice near Vyra in Russia had been cut to create a rectangle hole. Her jump in the water caused her to be swept away by strong currents. She is believed to have drowned.

A man believed to be the woman's husband, 50, jumped in to try to saver her but was unable to find her

The man 50 believed to be her husband jumped in and tried to rescue her, but she was not found.

A man 50-years old believed to have been the husband of the woman is seen diving into the icehole after an attendant calls out for assistance. However, he can’t locate her.

Also, rescue divers weren’t able to locate her body.

St Petersburg lawyer wanted to take a dip in the water to celebrate Christian Orthodox Epiphany, a custom that is followed each year by thousands of Russian believers. 

Some believe that the water blessings for an annual ceremony have special healing powers.

Some individuals go alone into the cold waters, but others join in with groups to remember Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan.

It was a hole in the thick ice, and the temperature at which the woman jumped into it was between -5C and -6C.

A rescue team that included diverd was dispatched to the scene but they were unable to find the woman's body

Diverd and a rescue team were dispatched on the spot, but they couldn’t find the body of the woman.

The river's current was thought to be moving at a rate of 10ft a second when the woman jumped in

When the woman leapt in, it was believed that the river current was moving at 10ft per second.

Her momentum carried her beneath the ice as her children screamed in horror. Pictured: A rescue diver searches for her body

As her children gasped in terror, her momentum carried her under the ice. Pictured: Rescue diver searching for the body of her mother

Alexander Zuyev (pictured), head of VOSVOD emergency rescue service, criticised the placing of the ice hole at a point where the river had a strong current

Alexander Zuyev, head of VOSVOD’s emergency rescue services, criticized the placement of an ice hole in a spot where there was strong current.

On the same day a 'safe' ice hole in the Oredezh River by Vyra village was created with rescuers and an ambulance on standby as well as a wooden frame and steps to help people in and out of the water

A’safe’ hole was also created in Oredezh River near Vyra village. It has rescuers on call and an ambulance. There is also a wooden frame with steps that can be used to assist people getting in and out.

Pictured: The Oredezh River when it is not frozen. Mr Zuyev said even in summer people often drowned in the fast-flowing river

Pictured: The Oredezh River when it is not frozen. Mr Zuyev said even in summer people often drowned in the fast-flowing river

In a black swimsuit, she was seen crossing her legs before jumping into the river.

The village also had an ice hole that was accessible to rescuers. They were able to call for help with an ambulance, as well as having a wooden structure and steps available to aid people entering and exiting the water.

Alexander Zuyev (head of VOSVOD Emergency Rescue Service) criticized the placement of the icehole at a spot where there was strong current.

He stated that the woman took a plunge at a place without rescuers and inadequate lighting.

It is considered one of most dangerous rivers in the Leningrad Region and drowns many people every year.

He added that she had been “simply taken along by the current”