People urged to stay safe by water

By Connie Osborne Monday 17 March 2014 Updated: 17/03 11:58

A DROWNING prevention charity is urging people to stay safe in and around water following the tragic death of a Redditch teenager.

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) is appealing for people not to swim at unsupervised sites, jump into the water until they are used to the temperature, jump in from heights or swim into deep water which could be colder.

The safety advice follows the death of Richard Fellows who came into difficulty while swimming in the River Arrow near the Five Tunnels along with friends yesterday (Sunday).

The 15-year-old passed away at the Alexandra Hospital after being found in the water by emergency services staff and a Hazardous Area Response Team.

Two other boys were rescued from the river but were treated for minor injuries at the scene and released.

Adrian Lole, RLSS UK director of life-saving, said: "The death of this boy is a tragedy and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

"With the warm weather over the weekend, people are drawn to water. We want people to enjoy water but safely and sensibly – please do not be tempted to cool off in areas of open water unless it is a supervised area intended for swimming, or an organised event."

He added one death was one too many and he wanted the charity's message to reach as many people as possible to avoid a repeat of last summer when several young people fatally drowned across the country.

Teresa Myatt, RLSS UK chair for Worcester and Hereford, added she wanted people to enjoy open water but safety was paramount.

She added a number of clubs within the county ran a Survive and Save life-saving courses which included open water and beach awards to help people learn self rescue, self survival and rescue techniques.

Visit www.rlss.org.uk for more information.

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