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14 July 2017 

Police issue water safety warning this summer

 

As temperatures rise and the summer holidays begin, Bedfordshire Police are urging people to think twice before jumping in the nearest lake or river to cool off.

 

Police officers warn that a quick dip could have potential tragic consequences, as what may appear to be calm and safe water could conceal strong undercurrents and unpredictable depths.

 

The force is advising people to avoid risky open water areas, and is instead encouraging people to pay a visit to the county’s many leisure centres and lidos instead.

 

Those walking, running or cycling near open water should also ensure they stay well clear of bank edges to avoid trips and falls.

 

Chief Inspector Hob Hoque, of Bedfordshire Police, said: “Even the strongest of swimmers can get into difficulty as a result of undercurrents and deeper water, a bit of fun splashing around can soon turn into something a lot more tragic - as we have unfortunately seen in previous years.”

On 23 August 2013, William Stringer sadly died aged just 15 after he went for a swim in a river in Biggleswade. Sergeant Dick Skinner and PC Alexander Knibbs, who attended the incident, have blogged about their experiences and hope others take on board water safety precautions.

 

One person drowns every 20 hours in the UK, with hundreds more suffering from life-changing injuries due to near drowning. The latest statistics show that more people die from drowning in the UK than from road cycling accidents.

 

Around 85 per cent of accidental drownings occur at open water sites.