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Warning over bathing in pools.

The tragedy is not the first to hit Rocket Pool.

Last April an 82-year-old Bilston woman was discovered dead in the pond after she was reported missing by relatives. Other deaths across the West Midlands have included 14year-old Nathan Spiers who drowned in Broadheath Pools, near Worcester in July 2002.

The previous summer, 15year-old Frazer Amiss drowned after getting into difficulties in Powell Pool, in Sutton Park.

Campaigners raised pounds 11,000 in memory of the teenager, who was considered a strong swimmer, to buy a search boat for the troublespot.

Toddler Matthew Gowans, aged 23 months, died in 2002 after plunging into a private swimming pool in Clent, Kidderminster.

In 2000, a 14-year-old died in Knypersley Pool, Staffordshire, and Stephen Wain drowned in Lichfield's Stowe Pool.

Safety experts yesterday warned people against using canals, lakes and ponds as a means of cooling off in the hot weather.

Roger Vincent, from the Birmingham-based Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said 250 people drown in Britain each year.

'We are now entering the peak season for drowning -we feared something terrible would happen and unfortunately it has,' he added.

'We do not want to see any more. The only safe place to swim is at a properly supervised pool or beach.

'The prime group for drowning is young men -most are swimmers who over-estimate their capabilities and drown a couple of minutes after entering the water and near the shore.'

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: 'At this time of year such locations become a magnet for young children and youths. We would urge them to be aware of the dangers.'


Matthew Gowans
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 10, 2004
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