Police issue #SaferSummer advice after young people jump into water from Ely footbridge
PUBLISHED: 14:29 08 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:54 08 August 2019
Police in Ely have issued a safety warning after reports of young people jumping into the water from the city's new footbridge near the new Ely Southern Bypass on the A142.
Officers say they have spoken to the parents of the children involved and are increasing patrols in the area.
They also issued advice to parents: "Please advise your children of the dangers including cold water and it being a busy marine way."
Their #SaferSummer social media post added: "The waterway is extremely cold, even in the current climate. It's also a haven for wildlife including rats.
"It's also a busy marine way with boats that don't stop or steer in the same way as a car."
The news comes a month after pupils from Ten Mile Bank and Hilgay schools were given safety talks in which they were warned of the dangers of jumping into rivers and drains during hot weather.
Dan Pollard, the Environment Agency's sluice keeper, led the safety talks.
He said: "Over the last three to four years a lot more children, particularly teenagers, are taking more risks.
"There are dangers of swimming in colder river water if below 15 degrees and the shock of jumping or falling in could pose a real threat to someone.
"Some 400 people every year drown across the UK because they don't know what dangers to look out for."
The Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service have also issued their own top tips for keeping safe near water.
The dangers of open water
The water is often far deeper than people might think.
It's very cold, which can quickly cause cramp and breathing difficulties.
It may contain hidden rubbish and debris, such as shopping trolleys and broken glass, which can cause injuries and lead to drowning.
Sometimes it can be polluted which could lead to illness.
During the school holidays, and in particular in hot weather, increasing numbers of children are drowning. On average, there are 50 of these tragedies each year in the UK.
If you do decide to swim in a lake or river, make sure you keep yourself as safe as possible...
Don't jump or dive in as the water can contain unseen hazards and be far deeper than it looks.
Never swim near weirs or locks as there are often dangerous currents.
Always make sure someone on land knows you are swimming.
If you see someone in trouble in water
Do not hesitate - call 999 immediately with clear details of your location.
Send someone to the nearest road to flag down the emergency services when they arrive and direct them to the incident.
Find the nearest life ring and throw it to the person. If a life ring is not available, throw in anything that could help them float, for example, a football.
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.