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Charity issues open water warning

August 1, 2020
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A charity working to keep young people safe has repeated warnings about the dangers posed by open water.

The Open Water Education Network (OWEN) was set up in memory of 12-year-old Owen Jenkins, who drowned in July 2017 when he entered the water at Beeston Weir to help two girls who’d got into difficulties.

In this video Hannah Townsend, deputy programme manager at the charity, reminds people of the dangers posed by open water and also gives some valuable advice to people about what to do if they see somebody in trouble:

  • Keep a close eye on them
  • Call 999
  •  Avoid entering the water yourself
  •  Tell them to lay on their back and float with the current

The dangers of open water include:

  • Temperature – the water can be extremely cold, which can lead to a number of physiological conditions which affect the ability to swim
  • Strong or hidden currents – water being pumped out of reservoirs creates currents which aren’t always noticeable
  •  Depth – it is difficult to estimate the depth of open water and it can change dramatically, even close to the bank
  • Hidden hazards – such as weed, rubbish or broken glass which could trap a young person or cause injury
  • Climbing out – once in the water, it can be difficult to get out due to steep, slimy or crumbling banks
  • Pollution – this can affect any stretch of water, but may particularly be an issue at old industrial sites such as quarries

To read more about water safety on the Royal Life Saving Society’s website visit: www.rlss.org.uk/Pages/Category/water-safety-information

For more information about the Open Water Education Network (OWEN) visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Owenjenkins07/

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101 is the number to call when you need to contact Nottinghamshire Police and it’s less urgent than a 999 call. Calls cost 15p, no matter how long the call lasts.