Safety warning after youths seen jumping in river in Boston

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

Safety warnings have been issued after reports of people trying to keep cool in the hot weather by jumping in Boston waterways.

A spokesman from the Canal and River Trust confirmed one of their local lock keepers had seen an increase in youths swimming in the River Witham and jumping off the Grand Sluice Bridge recently and warned of the dangers of doing so.

The trusts’s waterway manager for the East Midlands Sean McGinley said: “The River Witham may seem like an appealing place to cool off on a hot day but it’s really not a very sensible thing to do.

“We’re by no means party-poopers but it’s important that people understand the risks of jumping into the river and choose a safer place to go for a dip.

“The river can contain some pretty nasty diseases and the cold temperature can cause people to get into difficulties. And of course there’s the small matter of Boston Grand Sluice which can affect the river current.

“Our message is very clear - the River Witham is a great place for a day out but please stay out of the water and make sure you enjoy the rest of the warm weather while it lasts.”

Network Rail, the Environment Agency and Boston Borough Council have also warned about the dangers of swimming near the Grand Sluice River lock - which is currently down to ensure river levels do not drop to levels that could cause a problem for fish and wildlife.

Drowning is the third most common accidental death among Britain’s under 16s, behind road accidents and house fires.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said safety was a major concern with people in the river, however, they may also be committing an offence.

They said that if anyone saw youths engaging in these activities they should call the police non-emergency number 101 as soon as possible.

Have you seen anyone jumping or swimming in the river? Email Daniel Jaines