County children urged not to swim in open water

Youngsters jumping in to water near Wellingborough's Embankment a few weeks ago

Youngsters jumping in to water near Wellingborough's Embankment a few weeks ago

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Youngsters across the county are being warned about the dangers of swimming in open water as the hot weather continues.

The warning from police comes as the school summer holidays are set to start and at a time when temperatures have been reaching 30C on an almost daily basis.

Rural locations around the county, especially in Wellingborough and east Northamptonshire, have many lakes, reservoirs and rivers – all of which can be inviting for youngsters.

And the reminder is timely in light of the tragedy at Denford Lock on the River Nene, in which 15-year-old Daniel McCullagh died, almost a year ago.

PCSO Paul Hurst, of Wellingborough Rural’s Safer Community Team, said: “Only a short while ago, two more young people got into difficult at the same location where the teenage boy died last year.

“Fortunately, the youngsters were rescued but the incident underlines the fact that open water is very dangerous and the risk of drowning is great.

“The school holidays and warm weather will almost certainly see a rise in these types of incidents and we are working with the fire service, the councils and the Environment Agency to get the water safety message out to the community and to local schools.

“We will be patrolling the risk locations during the summer holidays to make sure young people stay safe around water.

“We also want to ensure that those who visit these locations are behaving responsibly and not creating a nuisance for others.”

Here are just some of the dangers of swimming in rivers, lakes, reservoirs and canals which police want youngsters to consider:

– Very cold temperatures

– Hidden currents

– It is difficult to estimate depth

– There may be hidden rubbish like shopping trolleys or broken glass

– It can be difficult to get out (steep slimy banks)

– No lifeguards

– Water pollution may make you ill