Crimean President Sergei Akshenov said rescuers from the Ministry of Emergency Situations swam behind his boat, while officials went to visit a hospital in Kerch, which was hit by flooding caused by rain.
Some onlookers said on social media that the men looked like Axeno’s bodyguards, while others joked that the dolphins had returned to Kerch.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations told the RBC website that they were the only public who felt the need to swim.
“These are the public who made a strange decision in this difficult situation,” the ministry’s press service said. “They wear these suits and can’t think of anything better than following Axeno’s boat.”
The ministry said the swimmers did not need any help from the governor or others on board and returned to shore “happy and satisfied.”
But Aksenov identified the swimmers as employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, who went with the governor during his flood inspection.
“I would like to thank the staff of the Ministry of Emergencies, without exception, I will no doubt come with everyone,” Akshenov told reporters after his tour.
Akshenov promised that all funds from the Reserve Fund would be fully allocated to the victims. A local emergency was set up in Kerch, where more than 200 homes were flooded due to heavy rains. Heavy rains lashed the peninsula from Wednesday night to Thursday, causing flooding and significant damage.