Heatwave drowning toll hits 21 as man’s body is pulled from nature reserve pool
- Unidentified man was pulled from pool of water at Park Lime Pits nature reserve
- West Midlands Police say man’s death is currently being treated as unexplained
- The latest fatality brings total number of drownings during the summer to 21
A man’s body has been pulled from a pool of water in the Black Country bringing the heatwave drowning toll to 21.
The unidentified man was discovered in water at Park Lime Pits nature reserve in Walsall.
Witnesses reported seeing the man’s body being pulled from the water at the nature reserve, off Park Road, this morning.
He was confirmed dead at the scene in Rushall after his body was spotted just after 10am.
Police officers have now launched an investigation and are treating his death as unexplained. Work is being carried out to identify the man and inform his family of his death, it has been confirmed.
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: ‘The body of a man was discovered in water at Park Lime Pits, Walsall, at just after 10am today (August 13).
‘Sadly the man was confirmed dead at the scene and we’re in the process of identifying and informing his family.
The body of a man has been pulled from a pool of water at Park Lime Pits, Walsall, (pictured) in the Black Country bringing the total heatwave drowning toll to 21 so far this summer
‘The death is currently being treated as unexplained.’
It comes after two people were pulled from bodies of water on Thursday as the country was again hit with sweltering temperatures.
A body was pulled from the River Thames near a sailing club after a frantic search for a man who had disappeared under the water – as sky-high temperatures plunge the country into drought.
Firefighters, paramedics and a dive team were called to a stretch of the waterway near Desborough Sailing Club in Shepperton, Surrey at around 8pm on Thursday night following reports a man had gone underwater but then failed to resurface.
The man’s next of kin are aware and are being supported by specially trained officers, Surrey Police added in a statement.
Also on Thursday, the body of another man was pulled from the water at Aira Point, close to the ferry stop, in Ullswater after a paddleboarder went missing.
Maryport Rescue coastguards were called out at 1.10pm and were joined by Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, the Ullswater ranger the Whitehaven coastguard team and North West Ambulance Service.
Lewis Agyei-Sekyireh from Enfield got into difficulty in North Met Lake in Cheshunt on Monday and police rushed to the scene at 5pm to desperately save the young teenager
Cumbria Police confirmed the body of a man has been recovered from the water.
Formal identification has yet to take place but the missing’s man family was told of the discovery and the death was not being treated as suspicious.
At least 21 people, including several teenagers, have drowned in the past month as the sweltering heat drives more and more people to sometimes perilous waters to cool off.
On Wednesday, an elderly woman was pulled from the water at Walton Beach in Essex at 6.20pm. She was pronounced dead at the scene. On the same day, a man died after getting into difficulties in the sea at Humberston Fitties in Grimsby at around 4pm.
Tributes have since been paid to a ‘loving and kind-hearted’ 14 year-old-boy whose body was pulled from a lake in Hertfordshire on Monday last week.
Lewis Agyei-Sekyireh from Enfield got into difficulty in North Met Lake in Cheshunt on Monday and officers rushed to the scene at 5pm to desperately save the young teenager.
Brian Sasu (left) and Alfie McCraw (right), 14 and 16 respectively, who have both drowned
Robert Hattersley (left) and Jamie Lewin (right), 13 and 16 respectively, who both drowned last month
An urgent search was launched as police, fire crews and paramedics scrambled to the area just before 5pm. Officers have confirmed that a body was found approximately six hours later of the teenager who had a ‘lot of potential in football’ and a ‘real love’ for music.
It comes as a drought was officially declared for parts of England yesterday following the driest summer in half a century.
The conditions, which have almost completely deprived some areas of rainfall all summer, have prompted the National Drought Group to move parts of the South West, parts of southern and central England, and the East of England into official drought status.
The change could lead to more measures such as hosepipe bans, however, the Environment Agency has reassured the public that essential water supplies are safe.
The NDG is made up of representatives from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), water companies, the Environment Agency (EA), the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Natural England, Consumer Council for Water, water services regulator Ofwat, Water UK and the Drinking Water Inspectorate, as well as the Angling Trust and the Rivers Trust.
At a meeting earlier this summer, it moved most of England into ‘prolonged dry weather’ status, the first of four stages used to describe its response.
It comes as a drought is officially declared for parts of England following the driest summer in half a century. The conditions, which have almost completely deprived some areas of rainfall all summer, have prompted the National Drought Group to move parts of the South West, parts of southern and central England, and the East of England into official drought status
Eight of 14 areas designated by the EA have now moved to ‘drought’, the second stage, including Devon and Cornwall, Solent and South Downs, Kent and South London, Herts and North London, East Anglia, Thames, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, and East Midlands.
Water minister Steve Double said action was already being taken by the Government, the EA and others to manage the impacts.
‘All water companies have reassured us that essential supplies are still safe, and we have made it clear it is their duty to maintain those supplies’, he said.
‘We are better prepared than ever before for periods of dry weather, but we will continue to closely monitor the situation, including impacts on farmers and the environment, and take further action as needed.’
The official drought declaration does not automatically trigger legal limits on water use in the eight areas of England named today.
But it will pile more pressure on more water companies to ban customers from using hosepipes and sprinklers. Washing cars with buckets of water from the tap could also soon be outlawed.
And if no rain arrives in the coming weeks, millions could also be banned from cleaning any vehicles, buildings and windows. It could also mean water rationing for households.
Crews searching the River Tyne near Ovingham last month after a swimmer was swept away
Britons have already been told to avoid baths and have short showers, put less water in the kettle, only do fully loads of laundry in washing machines and put on the dishwasher a maximum of once a day.
But the Government has insisted that there will be no repeat of household taps going dry like in 1976, where millions had to use standpipes in the street.
It is the first drought declared in the UK since 2018 – although that one was rapidly brought to an end by heavy rain – but despite the threat of torrential downpours and thunderstorms on Monday, much of southern England is unlikely to see significant rain until September.
The move will also put pressure on water companies to do more to conserve supplies after a number of major leaks in recent weeks wasting millions of gallons of water.
Hosepipe bans have already been announced for around 17million people – and another 15million could soon join them. Parts of southern England had the driest July since records began, and reservoir levels have fallen to their lowest levels in last 30 years.
The most recent EA data showed rainfall totals for August have ranged from 12 per cent of the long-term average in north east England to 0 per cent in south east and south west England.
Meanwhile, river flow data revealed almost 90% of measuring sites were showing below normal readings, with 29 per cent classed as ‘exceptionally low’.
It comes after the driest July on record for some areas and the driest first half of the year since 1976.
The total stock of water in England’s reservoirs at the end of July was 65 per cent of its normal capacity – the lowest level for that point in the calendar year since 1995, the EA said.
More than two-thirds of reservoirs or groups of reservoirs in England saw their stock of water drop by more than 10 per cent between the end of June and the end of July.
Four water companies – Welsh Water, Southern Water, Thames Water, and South East Water – have all imposed hosepipe bans, while Yorkshire Water has announced a ban will start on August 26.
Drowning death toll in ‘Tinderbox Britain’ reaches 21
The body of an unidentified man is pulled from a pool of water at Park Lime Pits in Walsall at around 10am on Saturday with West Midlands Police declaring the man’s death as unexplained.
Ullswater – The body of a man was pulled from the water at Aira Point, close to the ferry stop, in Ullswater after a paddleboarder went missing.
Shepperton – Firefighters, paramedics and a dive team were called to a stretch of the waterway near Desborough Sailing Club in Shepperton, Surrey at around 8pm following reports a man had gone underwater but then failed to resurface.
Humberston Fitties – A man died after getting into difficulties in the sea at Humberston Fitties in Grimsby at around 4pm.
Walton Beach – A female pensioner in her 80s was pulled from the water at Walton Beach in Essex at 6.20pm. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cheshunt – A 14-year-old footballer named locally as Lewis Sekyireh drowned in North Met Lake in Cheshunt. An urgent search was launched as police, fire crews and paramedics scrambled to the area just before 5pm. Officers confirmed that a body was found approximately six hours later.
Clacton Pier – A 21-year-old man’s body was pulled from the water after getting into difficulty at Clacton Pier. Five other people were rushed to hospital.
Bray Lake – Sean Norbert Anyanwu, 16, died at Bray Lake, near Maidenhead in Berkshire. His family have said: ‘Sean Norbert Anyanwu was the light of the family and he was everything we could have asked for’.
Isle of Wight – A 70-year-old man drowned at Sandown on the Isle of Wight. Emergency services battled for 40 minutes to save him, but he was declared dead at the scene.
Cotswold Water Park – In Wiltshire, a man in his 20s died at Cotswold Water Park, Ashton Keynes. He was pulled from the water but pronounced dead at the scene.
Tagg’s Island – Brian Sasu, 14, was with pals at Tagg’s Island in Hampton southwest London when he got into difficulty and went missing in the Thames.
River Irwell, Bury – The body of a man in his 60s was recovered by emergency workers after he was spotted getting into difficulty.
Ovingham – Robert Hattersley, 13, got into difficulties in the River Tyne near Ovingham, Northumberland. His family said: ‘It is impossible to put into words the heartbreak we are feeling – Robert was so kind and loving. We are absolutely devastated by what has happened.’
River Spey, Moray – The body of a 51-year-old man was recovered from River Spey in Moray, Scotland, after he capsized in a kayak.
Cromane Bay, Northern Ireland – A man in his 50s who drowned in Cromane Bay in Kilorglin, Northern Ireland.
Brighton Beach – A 37-year-old man was rushed to hospital after being pulled from the water near Brighton Pier but he sadly died.
Ardsley Reservoir, West Yorkshire – A 50-year-old man died after getting into difficulty while swimming in Ardsley Reservoir.
Salford Quays – Kalen Waugh, 16, drowned in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester.
Conwy Morfa beach, north Wales – Emma Louise Powell, 24, and her two friends were all recovered from the water after getting into trouble while paddleboarding, but sadly she could not be saved.
Aire and Calder Navigation – A 16-year-old died after getting into difficulties while swimming in the Aire and Calder Navigation.
East Quarry, Wigan – Jamie Lewin, 16, got into difficulties in the water at East Quarry near Wigan at the start of the heatwave.