Following a number of water-related incidents around the county in recent weeks, including the tragic death of a teenager from Bedford, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) is reminding parents and children of the potential dangers and risks involved when in and around the water this summer.
There were 254 accidental drownings in the UK in 2020, and many more have non-fatal experiences with some of these being life-changing.
In a statement, BFRS said: “In Summer 2022, while we experience warmer and drier weather than usual, spending time near rivers and lakes is much more appealing. But throughout the school summer holidays, we need to take extra care.
“Even the strongest of swimmers can get into trouble in water outdoors and we have particular concern for young people who could be putting themselves at risk without knowing the dangers.
“Nearly half of those accidental drownings in 2020, didn’t intend to enter the water. During the summer break, we urge you all to stay safe not just in the water, but around the open water too.”
BFRS say that outdoor water can contain many hazards such as entrapments, weeds, rubbish, drains, broken bottles, pollution and underwater currents.
Also, it can be very hard to judge the depth meaning deep water can suddenly catch someone out.
“Be aware of the dangers,” said a spokesperson.
“If you are in danger in the water, try to stay calm and float on your back. If you do see someone in trouble in the water, please do not enter the water – always call 999.”