Police back water safety calls

By Connie Osborne Monday 17 March 2014 Updated: 17/03 16:28

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WARNINGS about cooling off in rivers and ponds have been echoed by police following the death of a Brockhill teenager.

West Mercia Police has backed calls for people to be safe in open water after 15-year-old Richard Fellows drowned in the River Arrow by the Five Tunnels yesterday (Sunday).

The Trinity High School pupil was swimming with two friends in a pool that forms part of the river about 12.30pm when he got into difficulty.

The two boys were rescued and treated for minor injuries but the teenager had to be located by emergency services and pulled from the water an hour later.

He was taken to the Alexandra Hospital but was confirmed dead about 2.30pm.

Insp Ian Joseph said: "This was a dreadful tragedy and our thoughts are with Richard’s family and friends.

"While the investigation is at a very early stage, it was a beautiful spring day and it appears the boys went into part of the river which forms a pool by the weir for a swim.

"Unfortunately the water there is deep and cold, and Richard did not resurface.

"I cannot reiterate strongly enough that swimming in a warm indoor pool is very different to swimming in open water, and even the strongest of swimmers can get into difficulty in rivers, canals, ponds, and quarries."

He added, aside from the water being cold and deep, there may be strong currents, and submerged objects can also pose problems.

"Please, do not swim in open water, no matter how hot the weather. It is incredibly dangerous."

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