999 staff pa­trol weir in bid to pre­vent an­other tragedy,

Burton Mail - - Front Page - By JENNY MOODY jen­nifer.moody@reach­plc.com

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

Kai Lambe

Tut­bury weir

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