Young people in East Cambridgeshire are urged to #RememberRony this summer and stay clear of lakes and rivers

Cambs Fire and Rescue issue warning over swimming in lakes and rivers around East Cambs.

Cambs Fire and Rescue issue warning over swimming in lakes and rivers around East Cambs. - Credit: Archant

Young people are being reminded of the dangers of swimming in open water following reports that teenagers have been swimming in private lakes in Ely during the recent heatwave.

Stay safe in the waterways of East Cambridgeshire is the message from fire officers after reports of young people playing in unsupervised water spots in the district.

Group Commander Kevin Napier, head of community fire safety at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “When the sun comes out, we know the public, particularly young people, are more inclined to gather around waterways to socialise to enjoy the weather, and we have seen this during the past week.?

“?We want to remind people to keep our #RememberRony campaign on their minds before they get tempted to cool down in rivers and lakes and instead go to a supervised lido. We often find young people gather near lakes and rivers, some of which are not always the easiest to access for emergency vehicles and not designed for public swimming with no lifeguard on site.?

“The emergency services have received reports of young people swimming in private lakes in Ely in recent days and are warning of the dangers that can come with it.

Group Commander Napier continued: “It is important for parents and young people to be aware of the many risks that open water possesses, such as being deeper than anticipated, with hazards below the surface to get trapped on. Even though the sun may be shining, the water could still be very cold causing the body to cramp up quickly and posing a risk to you getting out the water safely.”

From 2011 to 2016 there were 13 deaths, 18 people injured (with or without rescue) and 29 people rescued (without injury) from Cambridgeshire’s waterways.

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The fire service?s #RememberRony campaign aims to educate young people about the risks associated with open water. It is backed by the family of Huntingdon schoolboy Rony John, who died in 2014, while playing in the Great River Ouse.

Group Commander Napier added: “It is also important that if you see someone in trouble in water that you know what to do. Call 999 immediately with clear details of your location and if possible send someone to the nearest road to flag down the emergency services.