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Plea from water rescue team

May 2 2019

Water rescuers are pleading with the public to take extra care around open water and where possible only swim in supervised pools.

The stress levels are definitely heightened when you get a call that someone is in trouble in the water. The first thing that goes through your mind is time. Will you get there with enough time to help them?

Watch Manager Richard Taylor

Firefighters from Tamworth Community Fire Station have spoken out about the stress and emotional impact of attending a water rescue incident. The heartfelt plea comes as part of the national Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Campaign which started on Monday, April 29, and the message of the project is clear; to Be Water Aware. 

Watch Manager Richard Taylor said: “The stress levels are definitely heightened when you get a call that someone is in trouble in the water. The first thing that goes through your mind is time. Will you get there with enough time to help them? That’s why I want to cover as much of the area as possible as quickly as possible when searching for someone in the water. 

“We went to an incident not that long ago where a teenager got into difficulty just having a swim with his friends during the heatwave and he tragically lost his life. 

“Please, no matter how inviting the water seems, remember that swimming in open water is dangerous, enjoy the water safely where there are people on hand to ensure you are safe, and there are no hidden hazards lurking underneath. You never know how fast underlying current or how cold the water actually is, regardless of how hot the weather may be.”

Follow these safety tips to stay safe by water: 

Having a Drink:

  • Stay with a group of people
  • Avoid walking near open water
  • Get a taxi home
  • Never swim when intoxicated.

Tempted to swim: 

  • Only swim in properly supervised pools
  • Never swim in open bodies of water
  • It is difficult to tell how deep water is
  • There are hidden/unseen hazards under the surface. It is easy to get tangled in rubbish, debris and plant life under the water
  • The temperature of the water can often be colder than expected and can lead to cold water shock.