Warning over dangers of open water after teenagers caught trespassing at Higham Lakes

Parents have been urged to tell their children about the risks of swimming in lakes and rivers – especially when they do not know what to expect.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 3:36 pm
The Higham Lakes site is located near Ponteland.

The call comes from the owner of Higham Lakes near Ponteland following an incident last week where a group of 11 teenagers, who appeared to be about 15 and 16 years old, were caught by a local farmer swimming in the lakes, using one of the boats and some of the life rings whilst the site was closed.

Andrew Cannon, who also runs the trout fishery, saw them as they walking back down the road.

He said that whilst he would be happy to invite them along for the day and supply the gear for a day of fishing, it was important to speak about what had happened after noticing there have been more than a dozen deaths in open water across the UK in the last week.

He added: “Although they were trespassing on private grounds, this is what young lads can do. But they and others need to know how dangerous it is because the lakes are very deep.

“As well as not knowing what obstructions could be in the water, it’s a lot colder deeper down and you could be going from around 25 to 30 degrees centigrade to 10 degrees – risking cold water shock syndrome. It’s asking for trouble.

“It’s important that parents talk to their children, especially if they are old enough to go out on their own to meet up with friends, about the dangers of swimming in lakes and rivers.”