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Two bodies found and one swimmer remains missing as Britons try to beat the heat

Police searching the Thames. Credit: Pool

Police divers searching for swimmers who went missing during the UK's heatwave have found two bodies.

A body was recovered on Tuesday evening in the search for a man in his 20s from Wiltshire, who had gone missing in the lake at Cotswold Water Park, Gloucestershire Constabulary said.

On Wednesday morning, Scotland Yard said officers searching for a man last seen swimming in the River Thames at Shadwell Basin on Tuesday had recovered the body of a 23-year-old man.

He had been swimming with friends when he did not resurface, police said.

Officers are still searching for two missing in the River Thames. Credit: Pool

As temperatures soar across the country, emergency services warned the public to take precautions during the extreme heat and highlighted the risks of cooling off in the sea, lakes and rivers.

Inspector Stuart Simpson, from the Metropolitan Police's Marine Policing Unit, said: "Whilst at times, the Thames may look appealing, especially in this hot weather, it remains very dangerous all year round.

"On initial entry, the water can seem warm on the surface, but further in it can be freezing cold and there are often very strong undercurrents.

"The initial shock of the cold water is often what leads to people going subsurface and subsequently drowning."

The warning comes after police, fire and ambulance crews attended Cotswold Water Park, with a National Police Air Service helicopter scrambled to help search for a swimmer.

Gloucestershire Police said the body of a man was pulled from the water shortly before 8.50pm.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and the coroner and the man's next of kin have been informed, the force added.

One person was reported missing at Waterloo Bridge. Credit: Pool

A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Police said: "A body has been recovered in connection with the search for a swimmer who had gone missing in the lake at Cotswold Water Park this afternoon.

"Officers conducted searches along with the National Police Air Service (NPAS), Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) and fire service and the body of a man was pulled from the water shortly before 8.50pm.

"He was sadly pronounced dead at the scene and the coroner and the man's next of kin have been informed."

South Western Ambulance Service said resources including a hazardous area response team had been sent to the scene.

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The Metropolitan Police shared advice on swimming in open waters from Respect the Water.

Their five steps to survive cold water shock, which can affect swimmers in water below 15 degrees, are:

  • If you fall into water, fight your instinct to swim until cold water shock passes
  • Lean back, extend your arms and legs
  • If you need to, gently move them around to help you float
  • Float until you can control your breathing
  • Only then, call for help or swim to safety