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Working Together To Prevent Drownings in Bedford

Last updated  22 August 2018

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 on the River Ouse in Bedford and the new development on River Street, Bedford.

Businesses where you can get throwlines are:

  • The Embankment pub,
  • Swan Hotel,
  • The Longholme Café,
  • Park Inn Hotel,
  • Albero Lounge,
  • Wagamamas,
  • Zizzi,
  • Premier Inn Hotel
  • Toast.
Bedford Throw Line Aug 2018_DSC5175

Gemma Mallett, General Manager at the Embankment pub explains, “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 part of Bedford's night time economy, with the hotels operating 24/7, and working together with these businesses offers more chance in identifying someone who might be in trouble in the water. The throwlines are kept on the business premises and if someone is seen to be 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, Bedfordshire fire and Rescue Service's Area Community Safety Officer, said “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 also 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.”

For more information on water safety please visit our water safety page.

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