Rescue line plans for River Aire in Leeds

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LEEDS City Council is seeking to provide a dozen rescue ‘throw lines’ on the banks of the River Aire in a bid to prevent drowning tragedies, according to one city councillor.

Coun Elizabeth Nash (Labour/City and Hunslet), revealed the proposals in an e mail to the YEP.

Coun Nash wrote: “I think it timely that it should be drawn to the attention of the public that the River Aire in the centre of Leeds is extremely dangerous.”

She added: “The city council’s highways department is funding the erection of twelve throw lines for victims to grab...But it is far better that everyone should be made aware of this danger to prevent an accident happening. There may not be anyone in the area who is able to throw a line.”

In April, emergency services took to the water in Leeds to tackle a rescue operation as it was revealed West Yorkshire has one of the highest drowning rates in England.

Fire crews descended on the River Aire in Leeds city centre for the training exercise after figures showed there have been 33 water-related fatalities in the county in three years - with four in Leeds since 2013.

The startling statistic puts West Yorkshire in the top 10 regions in England for drowning incidents - despite it being one of only two land-locked counties on the list.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service tackled the training as part of Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week at the start of summer.

In the past five years, the emergency service has rescued 189 people from water.

If someone falls into deep water you should Call 999 and ask for the fire service and ambulance, giving your exact location and try and help the person if it is safe to do so, but never enter the water yourself.

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