Will they ever learn?

Published: Wednesday, 08 July 2009

Time and time again warnings are issued about the dangers of swimming in canals and rivers, yet every year young people take to the water, often with dire consequences.

The latest is a young man in his late teens who swam in the Thames near Marlow, quickly taken by the current and drowned.

It took police with specialist equipment over three hours to locate his body downstream, but of course there was no signs of life.  It was a friend who was also swimming in the river who alerted the emergency services.

Waiting to happen?

The police are warning teenagers not to jump into the Thames after a number of calls in the past few days by concerned people of groups of teenagers jumping from the road bridge, pictured here,  into the river at Windsor.

Sergeant Brian Fisher warned:

"No matter how hot the weather is, we strongly advise people not to jump into the river to cool off. Not only is the water fast flowing with dangerous currents, but the depth is variable and there can be unknown objects under the surface.

"The stretch of the river near Windsor Leisure Centre is busy with boat traffic, which presents a serious hazard to people jumping from the bridge, not to mention people on the boats."

Under the River Thames by-laws, it is an offence to jump into, dive or swim in the river in such a manner as to cause a nuisance or risk of danger to persons or property.