British Waterways and the Angling Trust warn of weir pool dangers

Ahead of the main fishing season British Waterways (BW) and the Angling Trust are reminding anglers of the dangers posed by fishing in weir pools. The advice follows a tragic incident in January in which one angler died after he and a friend got into difficulties when their aluminium boat was dragged under the water at Cromwell Weir on the River Trent. Since the incident British Waterways has worked in partnership with local fishing clubs and the Angling Trust to review safety at Cromwell. BW has agreed to install additional signage at the site and is planning to install a siren system enabling the lock keeper to warn boats in the danger area immediately below the weir. Now the two organisations are advising that, whenever fishing on rivers, anglers take extra care to ensure that they go home unharmed at the end of the day. In particular anglers are strongly urged to follow the advice of signage on site to avoid areas, both on land and on the water, which have been identified as presenting potential safety hazards.
Sean McGinley, Waterway Manager for the East Midlands explains; “The incident at Cromwell Weir earlier this year was deeply saddening and nobody within the angling community wants to see it happen again. Our advice is very simple; when fishing on the river, pay attention to the signage on site and keep away from areas where possible safety hazards have been identified. “It’s also worth speaking to the relevant local angling club – they are great sources of local knowledge on where to get the best catches and any areas where particular care is needed. By taking these simple steps anglers can really enjoy the fantastic angling on the river whilst, most importantly, going home safely at the end of the day.”
David Kent, Director of the Angling Trust said; “There are fantastic opportunities for angling on canals and rivers throughout the country but we need to make sure that anglers are reminded of simple, common sense measures that they can take to reduce the occasional risks that are involved with any activity involving water.”
A list of Angling Trust member clubs can be found at with details of how to join. Read more on the British Waterways website…


Olympic diver launches bid to prevent drowning

Last week, British Olympic diver Nick Robinson-Baker launched a national campaign to reduce drowning and promote water safety. Nick, who became a lifesaver when he rescued fellow diver Monique Gladding from the water at a World Cup meeting in Russia last year, is spearheading the campaign by the Royal Lifesaving Society UK (RLSS UK).
The official launch of Water Safety Awareness Week, (which takes place June 16 to 24), comes following research revealed last month by Kellogg’s and the ASA that over a third of children are leaving primary school unable to swim 25 metres unaided. This is despite swimming being a statutory element of the National Curriculum and drowning being the third most common cause of accidental death in children.
RLSS UK hopes its national campaign will help to reduce the annual number of accidental deaths from drowning in the UK. Latest available figures, from the National Water Safety Forum, show that there were 420 accidental deaths from drowning in 2010 – one nearly every 17 hours.
Nick, aged 24, who is competing at London’s 2012 Games, said:
“Every drowning is a tragedy. With an average of 400 accidental deaths from drowning each year more needs to be done to raise awareness of how to be safe in, on and near water. I hope that this campaign can help to educate people about the potential dangers. This isn’t about telling people to stay away from water, but about knowing how to enjoy water safely, understand the risks and what to do in the event of a problem. I had a real wake-up shock when I had to rescue Monique last year. You never think that you’ll need to save someone in the water, and the truth is that I didn’t have a clue what to do, adrenaline took over, and luckily it turned out ok. Now I’d like to do whatever I can to convince people to become more aware that accidents in the water do happen and we should all know what to do if the worst does happen.”
Key safety tips being promoted during Water Safety Awareness Week include understanding beach flags and signs, taking time to check tide times and ensuring that you won’t be cut off when the tide comes in. At inland water sites, they include only swimming at lifeguarded lakes and always wearing a buoyancy aid when on the water.
Find out more about the campaign at the Water Safety Awareness Week website and follow the Week on Twitter at #WSAW2012. Find out more about the ASA’s School Swimming Manifesto and what you can do to raise awareness of learning to swim, go to the website…