999 staff patrol weir in bid to prevent another tragedy,
FIREFIGHTERS have been patrolling a weir near Burton where a young boy drowned to stop people being tempted to take a swim.
As the weather once again warms up, emergency teams have visited Tutbury Weir, urging people not to be tempted by taking a swim there.
It is the spot where Dawn Dolman’s son, Kai Lambe, went out to play with friends but never came home nearly six years ago after the youngster got into difficulty in the water.
The brave schoolboy, who was just nine years old, was trying to save a friend when he got into difficulty at the weir on the River Dove.
Now Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has teamed up with counterparts in Derbyshire. Firefighters from Tutbury and Derby’s Kingsway fire stations and will patrol the weir in the hot weather.
They are also asking people to be “water aware” while they are out.
Mum Dawn, of Hatton, said: “If it will save someone else then I think this is a good thing.”
She told how she struggles to visit the weir and has to go on the spur of the moment as it brings back so many painful memories.
Firefighters are sending out the message that water is dangerous and that people should only swim at supervised pools.
The dangers of swimming in canals, rivers and lakes highlighted by the fire service are:
■ If you get into trouble, there are no lifeguards to help you;
■ The water is often a lot colder than you expect, which can cause cramps and make it hard to move.
■ Just because you can swim well in a heated swimming pool doesn’t mean you’ll be able to swim well in cold water;
■ There may be hidden currents and it is difficult to estimate how deep water is before you get in;
■ If it’s too shallow you are at risk of injuring yourself if you jump in and equally deep water may lead you to get into difficulties;
■ You might not be able to get out, steep, slimy banks or sides can make getting out impossible;
■ There is no way of knowing what hazards lie beneath the water. Shopping trolleys, sharp metal and broken bottles are just a few things that may be lurking;
■ If the water is polluted it could make you seriously ill. For example, Weil’s disease is a form of infection that can be caught through contact with contaminated fresh water; The fire service also says people should never drink alcohol while swimming.
If [the patrols] save someone else then I think this is a good thing.
Kai’s mum, Dawn
Kai Lambe, nine, died after getting into difficulty in the water at Tutbury weir