Gloucestershire rescue crews urge respect for water

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Emergency services in Gloucestershire are warning people of the dangers of open water after six people were saved on the River Severn in a week.

Firefighters and the coastguard rescued a man from sandbanks between Arlingham and Newnham last Wednesday.

On Tuesday, crews formed a human chain to rescue five people from a cliff edge at Westbury, saving them with minutes to spare before the tide came in.

Chief fire officer Chris Griffin said he was thankful no one was hurt.

Five fire crews, coastguards from Beachley and the Severn Area Rescue Association were deployed in the first incident.

'Treat with respect'

Three crews, a rescue boat and a helicopter attended the second incident.

Mr Griffin said: "It is easy to underestimate the speed of the incoming tide and become cut off.

"People should also be aware of the dangers of quicksand and mud flats no matter how inviting they appear to walk on."

Gloucestershire County Councillor Will Windsor-Clive said open water needed to be "treated with respect".

He said: "Thanks to the efforts of our crews, no one involved in these incidents was seriously injured, but both involved a large amount of emergency services resources.

"That is not only costly but could potentially divert resources from other emergencies."

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