Fire Service urges public to be water aware following spate of incidents

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging the public to be water aware following an increase in the number of incidents involving rivers in the county and one tragic death.

In the last week the Service has recovered three people from the water in Shrewsbury on separate occasions. One man sadly died and another remains in hospital in a critical condition.

Our thoughts are with their family and friends during this difficult time.

The Service is issuing a fresh plea for people to be vigilant when walking by the water and adhere to the following advice:

  • If you have had a drink; avoid walking home by the river. The shortcut may seem like a good idea, but the pathways can be slippery, and you could easily fall in.
  • If you see someone in distress, do not enter the water to help. Use one of the nearby throwlines or call 999 for assistance.
  • Don’t swim in open water unless there is a lifeguard/ the area is monitored and safe. It can be very cold even during hot days, causing cramp and breathing difficulties – these can affect even the strongest swimmer so avoid this if you have not had the appropriate training.


Assistant Chief Fire Officer Simon Hardiman said:

“It is incredibly concerning for us to see this increase in the number of water related incidents in the county. We typically see around three water rescues in a year and to see three in one week is incredibly worrying.

“We’ve been working with our partners over the last two years to make some of these areas safer. This has included the installation of throwlines and training on how to use them for street pastors. However, we are asking the public to be mindful of how dangerous the water can be and avoid walking near the river if you have had a drink.”

The Service is also part of the Home and Dry Initiative which involves partnerhsip working with a number of other agencies including West Mercia police, West Midlands Ambulance Service, RNLI, the Police and Crime Commisioner's Office and many more. The project aims to reduce the number of water deaths through a water awareness course which you can learn more about here

For more information on water safety and being water aware please visit our website here.

6th April, 2022