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.
To mark the Christian Orthodox Epiphany, a 40-year-old mother of two jumped in a freezing river.
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.
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.
Diverd and a rescue team were dispatched on the spot, but they couldn’t find the body of the woman.
When the woman leapt in, it was believed that the river current was moving at 10ft per second.
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, head of VOSVOD’s emergency rescue services, criticized the placement of an ice hole in a spot where there was strong current.
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
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”