Firefighters issue warning after swimmer rescued from open water

Lake view

We are urging the public to stay safe around open water after a man jumped into a shallow pool in a river in the Moorlands.

At 6.30pm on Friday (16 June), we were called to the River Dane at Three Shire Head.

A man in his 20s had jumped from a waterfall above the river, without realising how shallow the water was, and injured himself after hitting the bottom of the river bed.

Specialist rescue teams from Newcastle and Leek went to the scene with Buxton Mountain Rescue Team, West Midlands Ambulance, Midlands Air Ambulance, the HM Coastguard, and colleagues from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and Staffordshire Police.

The man was rescued from the water after suffering leg and pelvic injuries. He was then taken to Royal Stoke University hospital by a HM Coastguard helicopter.

Station Manager Mark Tattum, who attended the incident, said: “Staffordshire has some stunning areas of natural beauty and we want people to enjoy them – but to enjoy them safely and responsibly for their own sake as well as everyone else’s.”

“Those who may visit popular beauty spots as temperatures soar are urged to consider the dangers around open water swimming and the difficulties which you may face if you decide to jump or swim in lakes and rivers.

“Even on hot summer days, open water is usually much colder than you’d imagine and lakes aren’t always as deep as they look from the outside – and when people jump into these waters, they often go into a state of shock and may become injured if they hit the bottom of the river bed with too much force.

“The bottom of rivers and lakes are often full of sharp rocks and boulders too which can cause further injury.

“In the event in which you fall into water by accident, you should try to avoid the instinct to thrash around as much as possible.

“Your body is likely to react like this when experiencing a drastic change in temperature, but you should lean back, extend your legs and arms and use slow, gentle movements to stay afloat.

“Once you have controlled your breathing, attempt to swim to safety and call for help.”

Anyone who may witness a person or animal in trouble around water should dial 999 as soon as possible.

For more information on how to stay safe around open water, visit: Water safety on the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service website.