River rescue prompts strong warning

By Tim Clarke 24/05 Updated: 25/05 10:28

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Don’t be tempted to cool off in the River Avon in this weekend’s hot weather is the message from police. 2510035LFR

SOARING temperatures in the Vale this week has prompted police to warn people against cooling off in the river.

It comes after emergency services were called to the River Severn in Worcester on Tuesday afternoon (May 22) where a woman was seen in difficulty.

She was pulled from the river by a member of the public before being revived by paramedics and taken to hospital in a 'poorly condition'.

And while officers are still trying to determine the circumstances surrounding how she ended up in the water, they have taken the opportunity to remind people of the dangers of swimming in rivers and open water.

Inspector Pete Andrews said: "Now that the summer is very much here, a cooling swim in open water may seem inviting but it is fraught with danger and could be deadly.

"Swimming in unauthorised, unsupervised stretches of water can be very unpredictable: for example, rivers can have strong hidden currents no matter how welcoming they look on the surface.

"It is often impossible to gauge the depths of these waters - just how deep or shallow they may be - and jumping or diving in can cause serious injury or drowning.

"Water can also be very cold, in stark contrast to the high air temperatures, especially at this time of year when the water temperature has not yet had the chance to warm up.

"The sudden change in temperature when entering the water can create serious problems for swimmers.

"Sadly, there is a history of serious injuries - and, indeed, fatalities - resulting in people being tempted by the water so officers' firm advice is ‘do not be tempted' and stick to local pools and supervised swimming spots."

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