Firefighters take the plunge for waterways safety demonstration

In the water: firefighters demonstrated how they carry out a water rescue.

In the water: firefighters demonstrated how they carry out a water rescue.

  • Firefighters carried out a water rescue demonstration at Bedford’s Embankment
  • It coincided with Water Safety Week
  • Beds Fire and Rescue Service hope their demo will make people think twice about taking the plunge on a warm summer’s day
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Firefighters took the plunge to show how they save people from the waterways in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers of taking a dip on a warm day.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service were at Bedford’s Embankment near Russell Park for the demonstration on Sunday.

The fire service prepares for the demonstration.

The fire service prepares for the demonstration.

Crew commander Dave Watson said: “Water can be a lot colder than the surrounding warm air might suggest. This will immediately cause anyone entering it to get into difficulties.

“On a hot spring or summer’s day a pond, pool, old quarry or river might seem inviting, but the cold water shock it can cause means you would quickly become incapacitated and could drown.”

The demonstration coincided with Water Safety Week.

In Beds, there have been 10 deaths in rivers and open water over the past five years and 77 incidents requiring someone to be rescued from water.

Cold water shock causes deaths every year

Crew Commander Dave Watson

Last July, a 15 year old boy drowned in a water-filled disused quarry in Clophill.

“Cold water shock causes deaths every year,” said crew commander Watson.

“No matter how warm the air is in April and May, inland bodies of water are unlikely to have warmed up from their winter temperatures.”

Firefighters hope their demonstration will make people think twice before taking the plunge.

Firefighters hope their demonstration will make people think twice before taking the plunge.

Beds Fire and Rescue Service water rescue demo at Bedford's Embankment.

Beds Fire and Rescue Service water rescue demo at Bedford's Embankment.