Ovingham Bridge over the River Tyne

Fire Service issues water safety reminder

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people of the very real dangers of swimming in open water following the tragic incident involving two teenagers in the River Tyne near Ovingham on Saturday, May 18th.  

Teams from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS), along with colleagues from Northumbria Police, North East Ambulance Service and Mountain Rescue were involved in the multi-agency response. 

NFRS Area Manager Joe Haustead said: “It is difficult in these circumstances to find the right way to offer water safety advice, but doing so could prevent another tragedy from taking place.  

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved in this tragic incident and unfortunately it underlines the very real dangers presented by rivers and the sea.  

“The water may look calm on the surface, but there can be strong undercurrents that could pull even a strong swimmer under the water.   

“And even when the weather feels very hot, the water may feel warm on the surface, but just a few feet below the surface it can be icy cold – affecting the stamina and strength of even strong swimmers.  

“If you are with someone who gets into difficulty, call emergency services for help. If you can, use an object to try and reach for them, but don’t put yourself in danger by entering the water.”  

More information on water safety is available at https://www.northumberlandfireandrescue.gov.uk/watersafety  

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