Fire, Police and Bedford Businesses Work To Prevent Drownings in River Ouse
Following a series of incidents on Bedford River, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Bedfordshire Police have provided throwlines to a number of businesses alongside The Embankment and the new development on River Street. This includes 9 businesses in total – The Embankment pub, Swan Hotel, The Longholme Café, Park Inn Hotel, Albero Lounge, Wagamamas, Zizzi, Premier Inn Hotel and Toast.
Gemma Mallett, General Manager at the Embankment pub, “We feel this is an important piece of work and feel excited to work with emergency services to prevent further deaths on Bedford river.”
Most of the businesses work as night time economy, with the hotels operating 24/7, and so working together with the businesses offers more chance in identifying someone who might be in trouble in the water. The throwlines are kept on the business premises and on identifying someone in trouble a member of staff will call 999 to alert Fire Service while another member of staff can take the throw line down to the riverside to attempt a bank side rescue.
David Lynch, Area Community Safety Officer (Beds Fire), “Unfortunately, lifebuoys at the side of the river do go missing, but where we have provided businesses with throwlines this means there will be more lifesaving equipment kept safe and also means businesses can more readily raise the alarm to Fire Service on a stretch of river that has already been the scene of a number of incidents.”
As part of this initiative 54 Police vehicles that cover Bedfordshire have now been equipped with throw lines.
Superintendent Nicholas Lyall from Bedfordshire Police said, “Water rescue is a really important issue and I am grateful that between us, Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service and Bedfordshire Police have been able to fund these throw lines for police vehicles. It is vital that as first responders we all have access to this life saving equipment, having used one myself to save somebody from drowning several years ago, I know how vital they are.”
Picture shows (left to right) Ben Ireland (Park Inn Hotel), Emilie (The Embankment pub), David Lynch (Bedfordshire fire and Rescue Service), Alison Barnes (Park Inn Hotel), PC Hayley Hunter (Bedfordshire Police)
For more information on water safety please visit our water safety page.