‘It all hap­pened so quickly’ – swim­mer dies at wa­ter park

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Melissa JONES

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ASWIMMER who died at Cotswold Wa­ter Park was a man in his twen­ties from Wilt­shire, po­lice have con­firmed.

The in­ci­dent took place on Tues­day af­ter­noon and de­spite the best ef­forts of the emer­gency ser­vices, he could not be saved.

It was re­ported that the vic­tim was try­ing to res­cue a dog when he got into dif­fi­cul­ties in Lake 32, off Sprats­gate Lane, near Somer­ford Keynes.

But fur­ther in­for­ma­tion has come to light and it is un­der­stood this was not the case.

Two by­standers jumped in to try and reach the man, but their at­tempts were in vain.

Agnes Baron saw a man ‘in his fifties’ and another aged ‘around 20 years old’ swam to­wards where the in­di­vid­ual con­cerned was spot­ted in the wa­ter.

The in­ci­dent, which hap­pened at lunchtime on Tues­day, saw a co-or­di­nated re­sponse from the emer­gency

ser­vices.

Un­der­wa­ter search teams worked well into the evening to try and lo­cate the man, who is un­der­stood to be in his twen­ties.

Just be­fore 9pm, Glouces­ter­shire Con­stab­u­lary sadly con­firmed that the man’s body had been found.

Agnes, 37, said her at­ten­tion was drawn to some­one ‘around 50m from the bank,’ as she was talk­ing to her friend.

“I saw he was strug­gling in the wa­ter and shout­ing for help,” she said.

“I ran and raised the alarm. A man who I think was in his fifties jumped into the wa­ter ac­com­pa­nied by a strong look­ing man in his twen­ties.

“They got to where he was last seen but could not find him.

“It all hap­pened so quickly.” A spokesman for the park, which is lo­cated in Shorn­cote near Cirences­ter, re­leased a state­men­twhich said: “The thoughts of every­one at the Cotswold Wa­ter Park Trust are with the fam­ily and friends of the young man who trag­i­cally lost his life at Keynes Coun­try Park on Tues­day.

“Our thanks go to all the emer­gency ser­vices and site op­er­a­tors who worked tire­lessly dur­ing the search.

“The Trust will not be mak­ing any fur­ther state­ments whilst in­ves­ti­ga­tion are on­go­ing.”

Agnes said she wishes she could have done more to help dur­ing the in­ci­dent, which she es­ti­mates ‘hap­pened in about five min­utes.’

She stayed by the lake near where the kayaks are hired hop­ing for some news.

“I can’t swim very well so I felt help­less,” she added.

“The more I think about it the more I feel sorry I couldn’t do any­thing.

“It was a busy day at the park. Every­one had gone there to en­joy the sun.

“I feel re­ally sad this has hap­pened. My thoughts are with the man’s fam­ily and friends.”

Lake 32 is used for wild wa­ter swim­ming and is as­sessed an­nu­ally by the En­vi­ron­ment Agency.

The park is leased by Cotswold Wa­ter Park Trust and run by a sep­a­rate man­age­ment com­pany.

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