Warnings issued over teen drownings across England

Kyrece Marshall Tributes were paid to Kyrece Marshall who died after being swept into deep water in the River Thames in Buckinghamshire

Related Stories

Warnings have been issued following a series of drownings involving young men and teenagers in lakes and rivers across England.

In Cambridgeshire, the body of Rony John, 15, was recovered from the River Great Ouse.

On Wednesday, the body of student David Zikhali, 20, was found in the Tees.

And in Bedfordshire, police found the body of Conor McColl from Luton at a disused quarry the day after the 16-year-old went missing while swimming.

One resident of Clophill village, where the search was taking place, said children had been climbing over the fence and getting into the water "for ages" and it was "an accident waiting to happen".

"The problem is that it used to be a quarry and the water is very, very deep."

Meanwhile, tributes have been paid to Kyrece Marshall, 13, who was swept into deep water in the Thames near Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

In Shropshire, paramedics who rescued a 15-year-old boy who was swimming in Blue Pool, Telford, said other children had refused to leave the water, despite the pleas of the ambulance crew.

River search Searches were carried out on the River Great Ouse where a 15-year-old boy went missing

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) urged people to be vigilant.

Community safety officer Carlene McAvoy said: "With the heat, we often see young people, particularly men, tempted to cool off or jump into open water.

"We understand the temptation to want to go swimming at open water sites, especially on a sunny day.

"But it is important to consider that even on a hot day, the water might be a lot colder or deeper than you were expecting and there may be underwater debris that you cannot see from the bank."

RoSPA said in 2012, a total of 381 people drowned in accidents across the UK.

Out of our depth?

  • One in five adults is unable to swim in the UK
  • In 2012 there was a 35% increase in the number of children drowning
  • About 51% of children aged seven to 11 cannot swim 25m in a pool

Source: Amateur Swimming Association

It said 185 of these deaths occurred in canals, rivers and lakes. Figures showed young men were at particular risk.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), which deals with rescues at sea, as well as tidal rivers, said in 2013, 167 people lost their lives at the coast - the highest number in four years.

It said adult men accounted for more than two-thirds of those deaths.

Ross Macleod, coastal safety manager with the RNLI, said: "We want people to go to the coast and enjoy it but we want them to understand there are risks."

Tribute left on riverbank A bunch of flowers was left on the bank of the River Great Ouse early in the morning, near where 15-year-old Rony John went missing

The Outdoor Swimming Society said: "Telling people to stay away from outdoor water doesn't work.

"You are always going to get teenagers - particularly teenage boys - taking risks.

"The message we are trying to get across is to be sensible about the risks they are taking."

In Derbyshire, a scheme that saw a toxic "blue lagoon" dyed black to deter swimmers was said to be having the desired effect.

High Peak Borough Council, which oversaw the scheme, said it had been repeated this year.

"The residents up there reported the number of people going up there had dramatically reduced," a spokesperson said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More England stories

RSS

Features

  • Two sphinxes guarding the entrance to the tombTomb mystery

    Secrets of ancient burial site keep Greeks guessing


  • The chequeBig gamble

    How does it feel to bet £900,000 on the Scottish referendum?


  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos


  • Deepika PadukoneBeauty and a tweet

    Bollywood cleavage row shows India's 'crass' side


  • Relief sculpture of MithrasRoman puzzle

    How to put London's mysterious underground temple back together


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.