Please stay out of open water

By June 21, 2017News

Our warning follows the death of a teenager in Walsall.

At 6.56pm last night (Tues 20 June), we were called by the ambulance service to an incident at Ryders Hayes Lane, Pelsall.

A 15-year-old boy had been swimming with friends when he got into difficulty and disappeared from sight.

Our Technical Rescue Unit’s boat was used as part of the search operation, while two firefighters and members of the ambulance service’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) also entered the water.

Sadly, just over an hour later, the boy’s body was located and removed from the water by firefighters and HART members, but attempts to resuscitate him failed.

Area Commander Ben Brook said: “This was a particularly distressing incident for everyone involved, not least family and friends of the teenager who were at the scene. Our thoughts and sympathies are with them all.

“On Monday, a 16-year-old boy died after going swimming in a reservoir in Rochdale. Both incidents serve as tragic reminders of the dangers of swimming in open water.

“We absolutely understand the temptation to swim, have fun and cool down during the heatwave, but we are asking people not to. It simply isn’t worth the risk nor the heartbreak for all involved when things go wrong.”

Drowning is one of the most common causes of death for people under 16 in the summer months. Many victims misjudge how well they can swim, often unaware of how cold the water can be and what this does to their stamina and strength.

Young children can drown in just a couple of inches of water, and most drownings of children aged five or under happen in or around the home.

Please click here to read our water safety advice.