Warning over swimming in lake
firstname.lastname@example.org The father of a teenager who drowned at Singleton Lake has warned people about the dangers of swimming in the water.
Shane Annetts was only 17 years old when he died after he tried to swim across the lake with a friend on the hottest day of the year in June 1993.
His father David of Lynsted Close, Stanhope, issued the warning this week after a group of men were seen swimming in the lake off Bucksford Lane on Sunday.
“There are notices on there now but it’s very dangerous,” he said.
“My son was a really excellent swimmer and it got the better of him so kids and that on a hot day shouldn’t do it.”
Mr Annetts warned that the water temperature and the fact that the lake has shelves into deep sections make it a dangerous place to swim.
“My boy was swimming perfectly confidently and then a witness said he just stopped,” he said. “It’s still a very raw thing for me. I wouldn’t advise anyone, even the strongest swimmers, to swim there.
“It’s extremely cold, even in the hottest summer and some places where it looks nice to have a dip have sudden shelves where it becomes deep very quickly.”
“The trouble is people have got short memories,” he added. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens again.”
Members of Ashford Angling Association, who fish at the lake, have also warned people about the dangerous water temperature. We keep telling people that it’s very dangerous,” said chairman Alan Sandom.
“The lake is river temperature so it’s very cold which has caused people to have heart attacks in the past. I think river water runs at about eight degrees centigrade and it’s a sudden shock that affects the heart.”
Two years before Shane Annetts died, angler David Halls, also aged 17, drowned in a deep section of the lake when he tried to recover his rod. The third victim was Maureen Randall, 41, who drowned after getting into difficulty in August 1998.
Ashford Borough Council, who manage the lake on behalf of Kent County Council, installed warning signs and safety equipment at the lake after the initial deaths.
A council spokesman said: “The public are warned of the dangers of swimming at Singleton by signs surrounding the lake.”
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Singleton Lake has hidden shelves where it becomes deep very quickly