Video: Plea to warn children about river dangers

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A concerned father has asked fellow parents to warn their children of the dangers of jumping into rivers from bridges.

Gavin Parker, 33, of Reform Street, Stamford, regularly takes his four-year-old son to fish by Tinwell Pumping Station on the River Welland.

Gavin Parker at Tinwell Pumping Station bridge

Gavin Parker at Tinwell Pumping Station bridge

The recent spell of hot weather has led to groups of youngsters jumping off the bridge and Gavin is worried it is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

He said: “I don’t think they realise what the dangers are.

“A few weeks ago the water wasn’t too deep but we have had a lot of rain recently and the level has really gone up.

“All it takes is for a weed to get caught round an ankle and that’s it - they’re under.

“They are not jumping off from massive heights but the current could be quite strong.”

The Mercury went to the bridge with Gavin and spoke to a group of youngsters.

One, a 16-year-old boy, said he came to the river because there was nothing else to do in town.

He added: “Most of us bike or skate but whenever we do that in the street we get told off by police.

“I’ve never seen anyone get hurt jumping in.”

The teenager said he wouldn’t come to the bridge once the new skatepark on the Recreation Ground was built.

Stamford community beat sergeant Rachel Blackwell said: “Parents are encouraged to warn their children about enjoying local waterways responsibly and to recognise that weirs are particularly hazardous – even to strong swimmers.”