Families make water safety plea as temperatures soar

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Families who have lost loved ones in drowning incidents are urging people to stay safe around water, as parts of the North West are set to be hit by hot weather over the next few days

In Greater Manchester, eight young men, aged between 13 and 21 have lost their lives due to accidental drowning in the last four years.

Most of them had jumped into water on a hot day to cool off over the summer months.

Chris Jordan is the uncle of Jack Pullen, who drowned in July 2016 at age 16 in the River Etherow in Broadbottom, near Hyde.

Jack Pullen Credit:

“Our Jack wasn’t strong enough to beat the water and we tragically lost him forever.

Chris Jordan

Since Jack’s death, Chris has set up the Jack Pullen Foundation to help raise awareness of the dangers of open water.

Dylan Ramsay drowned in a quarry near to Chorley, Lancashire, on July 3, 2011, at 13-years-old.

His mum, Beckie Ramsay, has been campaigning to raise awareness of the dangers of open water since that time and has worked with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

Dylan Ramsay Credit:

"It’s almost nine years since we lost our first-born son, Dylan.

Beckie Ramsay

Following a pilot in 2019 with United Utilities, where throw lines were installed at a number of reservoirs across the North West, six reservoirs in Greater Manchester now have the safety aids on site to help people to help those who find themselves in difficulty in the water.

The throwlines are located at Greenbooth Reservoir, Dovestone Reservoir, Hollingworth Lake, Audenshaw Reservoir, Debdale Reservoir and High Rid Reservoir.

There are also throw lines located around Salford Quays, and thanks to the work of the Water Manchester Safety Partnership there are now reach poles installed in different locations of the Rochdale Canal, where young people have lost their lives.

“We don’t want to stop people having fun, however, safety is paramount so we want to remind young people and their parents and carers of the dangers associated with going into reservoirs, lakes, rivers or other types of open water, especially as the weather warms up and people spend more time outdoors.

Paul Fearnhead, GMFRS

You can find more about water safety by visiting Safe4Summer, a partnership campaign between GMFRS, Greater Manchester Police and the 10 local councils.