Doncaster MP Nick Fletcher urges parents to warn their children about dangers of swimming in lakes and reservoirs

A Doncaster MP has urged parents to talk to their children around the dangers of swimming in lakes and reservoirs.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 4:14 pm

Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher made the comments as part of National Fire Chief’s Council Drowning Prevention Week.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue also urged people to be careful around open water and spoke about recent tragedies in the region last year during warm weather.

There were three tragic incidents in South Yorkshire in 2021, two in Ulley Reservoir in Rotherham and one in Crookes Valley Park in Sheffield.

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Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher

Councils across the region have been urging people to stay away saying it presents dangers to life, like strong hidden currents or rubbish and debris under the water line as well as very cold temperatures which can hinder swimming abilities.

Conservative MP Fletcher, who recently led a debate on the issue in Parliament, said: “I am a father of two children who are now both grown up. I cannot imagine the grief my wife and I would feel if anything were to happen to either of our children.

“I do not want that to happen to any parent. Whilst I recognise that we as parents have to let our children find their feet in life and become independent, we also have a duty to protect them and guide them as to what is right and what is wrong.

“So I would ask everyone to talk to their children and make sure that the message from the National Fire Chief is understood.

“Be careful and let’s not see any more tragedies of the kind I heard earlier this year in Parliament.”

A spokesman from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, added: “We’ve seen far too many drownings in South Yorkshire recently, and we don’t want any more.

“Please be extra careful around open water. You don’t know what’s underneath, or how cold it really is.

“Importantly, please talk to your children about how they can stay safe around open water. If they want to get in, they should do it as part of an organised open water swimming group.

“We never advocate simply jumping into lakes, rivers or canals. Keep them safe – make sure they don’t do it.”