Warn­ing over swim­ming in lake

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Heatwave Dangers - By James Scott

js­cott@thek­m­group.co.uk 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.”

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

Sin­gle­ton Lake has hid­den shelves where it be­comes deep very quickly

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