Monday, August 10, 2020
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Man dies in River Aire – police warn of dangers of open water swimming in hot weather

A 25-year-old man died after going for a swim in the River Aire in the Kirkstall area last night.

West Yorkshire Police said the man, who was with a friend, entered the river at 8.30pm but vanished beneath the surface and failed to emerge.

A major police and fire service search found his body in the early hours of this morning (Sunday). Residents in the Armley and Burley areas reported seeing police helicopters shining lights onto the river and its banks.

Leeds District Police had issued a warning over swimming in open water following an incident on Friday, when young people were seen swimming in a reservoir in Tingley.

Emergency services were called on Friday teatime following reports a young girl had got into difficulty while swimming, and needed help to get out of the water. She was taken to Leeds General Infirmary for treatment.

Chief Inspector Allan Raw of Leeds District Police said:

“This incident serves as a stark reminder of the very real dangers of swimming or playing in open water, no matter how tempting it may appear in warm weather.

“Water such as reservoirs or lagoons can be very cold, even in the summer months, and people suddenly entering cold water are susceptible to hyperventilation, which could result in the body going into seizure.

“There can also be hidden currents and unseen dangers such as mud banks or items under the water which a swimmer can become caught on.

“As inviting as the water can look, it simply isn’t worth the risk.”

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