Environment Agency river warning

THE Environment Agency has issued a safety warningto people who may be tempted to visit their local river during the hot weather.

They say fast currents, weirs and locks, cold water and unstable riverbanks can pose a serious health and safety risk – or even kill.

“Water claims the lives of more than 50 children a year in the UK. Drowning is the third most common accidental death among Britain’s under 16s, behind road accidents and house fires,” said Environment Agency Waterways Manager Irven Forbes.

“We have worked hard to raise awareness among young people but the statistics show there is still work to do to get the message across that thehazards are often hidden, and underestimating the dangers of water can have tragic consequences.”

The Agency has also linked up with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to produce the popular website www.watersafetykids.co.uk

More than half of all drownings each year occur in rivers, canals, lakes and pools. According to RoSPA in 2009, coastal and inland waters claimed the lives of 405 people.