As temperatures rise children are being warned to stay safe around water
- Credit: Archant
Children are being urged to stay safe around water over the summer holidays amid figures that show 13 people died and 18 injured in the county in the last five years.
Scorching hot temperatures are set to hit and Cambridgeshire’s fire service wants the public to play safe if they are tempted to cool down in rivers and lakes.
Group Commander Chris Parker, head of community fire safety at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Our county has lots of beauty spots near the water and they are especially lovely to enjoy when the sun is shining.
“We often find young people gather in numerous hotspots near lakes and rivers – some of which are not always the easiest to access for emergency vehicles – and often teenagers who are unwinding after busy weeks of exams may be tempted to cool off and play in the water.
“We don’t want to spoil people’s summer fun by telling them not to jump into rivers and lakes, but we do feel it is important to educate the whole community about the risk open water poses if you are not a trained professional with the correct equipment and kit.”
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People are being warned that even if it is a warm summer’s day, the water can be very cold and can quickly cause cramp and breathing difficulties which can affect your ability to swim and get out of trouble.
“Water can be far deeper and currents stronger than people think and there are unknown hazards that lie beneath the surface.”
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A #RememberRony campaign, launched in May 2015, aims to educate the community about the risks associated with open water.
It is backed by the family of Huntingdon schoolboy Rony John, who died in 2014 during the first week of the summer holidays, while playing with friends in the Great River Ouse.
Chris said: “It is also important that if you see someone in trouble in water that you know what to do.
“Call 999 immediately with clear details of your location and if possible send someone to the nearest road to flag down the emergency services when they arrive.
“You can find the nearest life ring or anything that could help them float, and if someone goes under the water, mark on the water’s edge the place they were last seen with something like a piece of clothing.”