UK open water deaths rise to 11 as 14-year-old drowns in the Thames

UK open water deaths rise to 11 as 14-year-old drowns in the Thames

Drowned - petr tkachenko 83/

UK open water deaths have risen sharply in the UK as people look to cool off and enjoy the hot weather, with the number rising to 11 overnight.

Police in the UK said on the morning of Tuesday, July 19 that they had given up the search for a boy who went missing in the Thames at 5 pm on Monday.

The 14-year-old boy has been presumed drowned after getting into difficulty.

His death is the 11th since the start of the heatwave on July 9 and follows the death of Robert Hattersley, 13, from Crawcrook, who died following an incident in the River Tyne on Sunday.

Repeated calls have been made by the Government and the emergency services warning about the dangers of waterways and reservoirs

Met Police Superintendent Richard Smith, from the South West Command Unit, told the Daily Mail: “I know that on days like today when temperatures are at a record high, it might look appealing to jump in and cool off in rivers, reservoirs, lakes or other open water.

“Please don’t. The dangers are real and this evening in Richmond we have seen the terrible consequences of what happens when it goes wrong.”

The growing list of incidents has seen:

  • Jamie Lewin, 16, died in a quarry at Dawber Delph, Appley Bridge, near Wigan on Saturday
  • Alfie McCraw, 16, from Wakefield drown after jumping into a West Yorkshire canal with friends
  • Kalen Waugh, 16, died in Salford Quays on Saturday. Passers-by called emergency services after spotting a struggling swimmer
  • Emma Louise Powell, 24, died while paddleboarding in North Wales on Thursday
  • On Sunday, a 50-year-old man died at Ardsley Reservoir, West Yorkshire, it was reported, after he got into difficulty while swimming.
  • In Scotland, a man died after his kayak capsized on the River Spey, Moray, on Sunday afternoon.
  • A 37-year-old man died after being pulled out of the sea at Brighton beach on Saturday evening.
  • A man in his 50s died after getting into difficulty in the water in County Kerry on Sunday.
  • A 51-year-old man was recovered from the River Spey by emergency services but he was pronounced dead at the scene

Open water deaths have been a problem in the UK for years but the number has risen sharply as the temperatures have risen, resulting in a plea from emergency services to not take any risks.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at