Warning over open-water swimming after woman in her 70s dies near Cropthorne Mill - The Evesham Observer

Warning over open-water swimming after woman in her 70s dies near Cropthorne Mill

Evesham Editorial 16th Jun, 2023   0

FIREFIGHTERS have warned Vale residents of the dangers of swimming in rivers and to take precautions with the warm weather set to continue

It follows an incident when a woman in her 70s died after going missing while swimming with friends in the River Avon at Cropthorne Mill in Fladbury.

Police were called at 4.50pm on Wednesday (June 14) after the woman couldn’t be found having entered the water to swim with friends.

Officers, and colleagues from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, responded and extensive searches were carried out – including the use of the police helicopter.

Her body was recovered from the river shortly after 7.30pm. There are no suspicious circumstances.

Supt Sue Thomas said: “This is a terribly sad incident and our thoughts are with the woman’s family and friends.

“Extensive searches were carried out in the water and the surrounding area after she was reported missing and we understand that the amount of emergency response may have caused some alarm in the area but we can confirm that the woman’s death is not being treated as suspicious.”

Evesham Fire Station Watch Commander Kyle Annis said he had since noticed people swimming in the river by Eckington Bridge and also one solo swimmer near Evesham town centre.

Kyle said: “If you are going to go open-water swimming, we would ask people to go with somebody and not swim alone.

“Let someone know where you will be going and at what time you will be back.

“We would also ask people to use flotation devices which they can tow along with them.

“If they get into difficulty in the water, they can then at least grab hold of it.

“The dangers of swimming in rivers include cold-water shock, hidden currents and there tends to be a lot of debris in the water as well as the diseases it can carry.”

If in difficulty in the water, people are urged not to panic and to ‘Float to Live’.

This means leaning back in the water and spreading arms and legs to stay afloat and control the breathing.

When the effects of cold-water shock have passed, call out for help or swim to safety.

If someone is in trouble in water, call 999 and ask for the fire service.

For more advice on staying safe around water, see www.hwfire.org.uk/safety-and-advice/water-safety/.

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