Police issue warning on swimming in lakes and rivers this summer

Floral tributes to Will Stringer who died swimming in Biggleswade
Floral tributes to Will Stringer who died swimming in Biggleswade

With long summer evenings and soaring temperatures, it may be tempting to jump into the nearest river or lake to cool off.

But police officers are warning of the potential tragic consequences that such quick dips could have.

Police has issued water safety advice as part of national Drowning Prevention Week.

Chief Inspector Neil Waring, of Bedfordshire Police, said: “There are a number of rivers and areas of open water within the county, that although might look calm and safe, could have hidden dangers.

“Even the strongest of swimmers can get into difficulty as a result of undercurrents and deeper water, a bit of fun splashing around can soon turn into something a lot more tragic - as we have unfortunately seen over the past few summers.

“We’ll be carrying out a number of high-visibility patrols over the summer months in order to discourage people from bathing in unsupervised open water and to educate them on the possible dangers.”

Drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death of children in the UK and around 400 people drown every year.

In August 2013, William Stringer died aged just 15 after he went for a swim in a river in Biggleswade.