The warm weather is attracting crowds of young teens to local bodies of open water to stay cool. What seems like a refreshing dip can often turn into a rescue or retrieval due to hidden hazards. Owen Jenkins from Chilwell School a local sporting hero drowned last year on 12th July while attempting to help his two friends who got into difficulty.
Open water is cold and never gets above 15 degrees (cold tap water is 13 degrees) this creates cold water shock which can lead to heart attacks and fainting. If you fall into water float and get your breath back, assess the situation. Old rusty objects can be hiding under the water. Strong currents can pull you down underneath or pull you into the middle and down the stream.
Nicola Jenkins (Owens mum) and I have been working hard to create the Open Water Education Network. This network trains young ambassadors to spot the dangers of open water and pass on our vital information regarding water safety to the community. With technology such as iPhones, VR headsets and video simulations they are equipped to educate others on the dangers. Twelve ambassadors from Owens school have now completed training at Beeston Highfields Fire station with the officers who were on watch on the 12th July. Training involved hand on skills using throw lines, mock 999 call and video simulations.
We want to spread our message so please follow the four steps below and I urge you to help educate the community about the dangers of open water.
**Stay Dry (for Owen Hero Jenkins) **
- Shout/spot – are they in trouble? Can they hear you? Keep your eyes on them
- Signal – if they are in danger call 999 and ask for the fire service. Listen to the call handler and have details of your location ready
- Throw – Look for things that you can throw to assist the person in trouble – these must float
- DO NOT GO – do not enter the water stay dry.one person in trouble can quickly become two
**Colwick park has recently had a fatality of a young 16 year old last week so we urge young adults and children to be aware of the dangers **
Hannah Townsend, Assistant Manager Chilwell Olympia and Open Water Education Tutor