Renewed water safety reminder issued after tragic death of teen in River Tyne

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The public are being reminded of the dangers of open water after a 13-year-old lost his life in the River Tyne

A renewed message about water safety has been sent to people in the North East following the tragic death of a teenager in the River Tyne near Ovingham.

Robert Hattersley died after coming into trouble in the water on Sunday, July 19.

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Emergency crews attended the scene and conducted a search for the 13-year-old, who was sadly pronounced dead when a body was found.

As temperatures continue to soar in a nationwide record-breaking heatwave, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service has issued a renewed warning to the public about open water.

NFRS Chief Fire Officer Paul Hedley said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Robert at this time.

“A visit to the river has ended in absolute tragedy and we will be working with our colleagues at Northumbria Police to fully understand the circumstances of what happened.

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“Unfortunately this incident underlines the very real dangers presented by rivers and the sea.

Robert Hattersley had his life ahead of himRobert Hattersley had his life ahead of him
Robert Hattersley had his life ahead of him | -

“The water may look calm on the surface, but there can be strong undercurrents that could pull even a strong swimmer under the water.

“And even when the weather feels very hot, the water may feel warm on the surface, but just a few feet below the surface it can be icy cold – affecting the stamina and strength of even strong swimmers.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther, of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, added his condolences to Robert's family.

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He continued: "It is difficult in these circumstances to find the right way to offer water safety advice, particularly when enquiries into what has happened are still ongoing, but doing so could prevent another tragedy from taking place.

The public is  being urged to think twice before entering open water (Image: Getty Images)The public is  being urged to think twice before entering open water (Image: Getty Images)
The public is being urged to think twice before entering open water (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

“Even in the hot weather, cold water shock is a real risk. If you find yourself in trouble then the advice is to try and lean back and float. Use your arms and legs to help you get into this position, and try and stay calm.

“If you are with someone who gets into difficulty in the water then give them this advice and call emergency services for help. If you can, use an object to try and reach for them but don’t put yourself in danger by entering the water.”

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