West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service warn of water danger following death of Leeds teenager George Lund
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14-year-old George Lund was pulled from the Aire and Calder Navigation Canal on April 8 and pronounced dead a short time later. He had jumped in the water at Knostrop Quay while walking along the towpath, and a spokesperson for the fire service said he was beaten by the current as he tried to swim to a ladder at the side of the waterway.
With temperatures rising as summer approaches, WYFRS have issued a reminder of how entering water can put lives at risk. Leeds District Commander Toby May said: “As the weather gets warmer, it may be tempting to go for a swim or enter water courses, rivers and canals.
"However, entering such water can put people’s lives at risk due to cold water shock, which can impact even competent swimmers, as well as underwater debris and dangerous currents.
“Regrettably, this weekend [Easter weekend] we have seen the devastating consequences of entering water at inappropriate locations, where these waterways are such dangerous places to swim.
"On Saturday, April 8, our crews received reports of a young man entering the water at Knostrop Quay, Leeds. Two specialist water rescue teams from Leeds and two fire engines from Hunslet worked with other emergency services to deploy into the water and carry out a search and rescue.
“Our fire crews worked tirelessly to rescue the individual, but our thoughts are with the family and friends of 14-year-old George Lund who sadly passed away.
“We are urging parents and teachers to talk to children about water safety, and how important it is to keep your distance from any lakes, rivers and canals. If anyone does need assistance in inland water then call 999 immediately and ask for the fire service.
"Our teams are experts at water rescues, and we have the specialist equipment needed to save the lives of people who are at risk of drowning. Please enjoy the warm weather, but in a safe way and please Be Water Aware.”