District Council urges residents to be water-safe

26 June 2020

The importance of staying safe in and around open water is being emphasised by Newark and Sherwood District Council following a high level of complaints of young people jumping off bridges, swimming in the River Trent and displaying anti-social behaviour.

Open water is cold and may contain hidden debris, which can result in injuries or drowning as it is often much deeper than people think. In addition, rivers, canals and lakes are often polluted by toxic chemicals which can lead to illness.

Staff from the Council’s public protection department have been working in partnership with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and Newark and Sherwood Police to patrol areas which have had an increase in water-related incidents including Millgate Bridge in Newark, Farndon Marina and Gunthorpe Lock.

Parents are being asked to ensure their children are being safe, particularly in remote areas where it could be harder for emergency services to find their location if a person gets into any difficulties.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “During periods of hot weather it may be tempting for some to swim or jump into open water to cool off. However, while our rivers and canals may seem calm there are many hidden dangers that are potentially life-threatening.

“We would like to urge everyone to think about the safety of themselves, friends and families and to not enter our waterways.”

Statistics show that every year in the UK, around 400 people die from drowning.

Newark Fire Station Manager, Leigh Holmes, said: “Swimming and jumping into water can be dangerous as the water is dirty and you don’t know what lies beneath.

“Under currents can pull you off your feet and put you in immediate danger and this is when you may need help. We ask you not to jump or swim in waters such as these due to the potential health implications this could have.

“Please remember to be vigilant and if you see someone struggling in the water call 999. If you are struggling in the water call for help and lay backwards whilst floating.”

For more information on how to be safe around water, please visit: Water Safety Advice (PDF File, 792kb)

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