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Water Rescue - Fatal Incident

At 18.49 on Saturday 30 June 2018, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service was called to attend the River Derwent, off Raynesway, following concerns for the safety of a 25 year old male.

Firefighters from Ascot Drive, specialist swift water rescue crews from Kingsway and Nottinghamshire’s Highfield Station attended the incident, along with police, paramedics and specialists paramedics from the hazardous area response team (HART).

Station Manager Paul Green said: “Our crews were mobilised to assist three males who were in the water, at an area known locally as Pebble Beach along the River Derwent. One of the group had got into difficulty and had become trapped under the water on the weir. 

“Firefighters and specialist swift water rescue teams worked together to locate the man before handing him into the care of paramedics. Sadly the man has passed away.

“This is a tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathy are extended to the family and friends of the deceased at this extremely sad and distressing time.”

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, along with fire and rescue services from across the UK, has been campaigning to raise awareness of the dangers of open water, specifically as UK temperatures hit record highs.

Shortly after leaving the scene, Station Manager Paul Green was mobilised to another water rescue incident in Chesterfield.  Mr Green went onto say: “At 21.03 hours we received a call to another water rescue incident, this time in Chesterfield.  On this occasion one adult female had fallen down a steep embankment and into the river.  Crews rescued the female, who was slightly injured and suffering the effects of cold water shock.”


Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service would like to issue a reminder to people of the dangers of open water. 

Water safety – Open water may seem enticing, but it can be extremely dangerous.  Swimming outdoors is completely different to a warm swimming pool, the water is much colder in rivers, reservoirs and quarries, so much so that it can force your body to go into shock, causing muscle cramps and breathing difficulties.  Other dangers include:

  • Hidden currents.
  • Fast flowing water, beware of locks and weirs.
  • Deep water.
  • Hidden dangers, such as rubbish and debris, this can trap, snag or cut.
  • No lifeguards, most outdoor waterways do not have lifeguards.