Water danger warning as heatwave expected

24th June 2020


FAMILY members who have lost loved ones in tragic drowning incidents are urging people to stay safe around water, as Stockport is set to be hit by hot weather.

In Greater Manchester, eight young men, aged between 13 and 21-years-old, 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 at age 16 in the River Etherow in Broadbottom, near Hyde.

Chris said: “Our Jack wasn’t strong enough to beat the water and we tragically lost him forever. We lost a huge part of us. He was just 16 and had his whole life ahead of him. Our family chain is broken and it can never ever be repaired.

“When the weather is hot and the water looks inviting, stop, think and remember. Don’t think there is no danger because the water is calm. Please stay out of the water.”

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

Area Manager Paul Fearnhead, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We don’t want to stop people having fun but safety is paramount so we want to remind everyone of the dangers of going into reservoirs, lakes, rivers or other types of open water.

“Cold Water Shock affects even the strongest of swimmers and can kill you in just 60 seconds. You also never know what is lurking beneath the surface – people have drowned after getting tangled up in undergrowth and other things hiding in the water.”

Superintendent Chris Bridge from Greater Manchester Police said: “Over the coming days and for the rest of the summer, we’re urging you all to be water aware and to stay out of open water. If you get into trouble, it not only endangers your life, but also the lives of others who would go into the water to help you.

“I hope that people will recognise the dangers and the tragic consequences that can come from being in open water – no matter how tempting it may be during the hot weather.”

Following a pilot in 2019 with United Utilities, where throwlines 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.