Fire service issues warning after woman dies at High Peak cold water therapy camp

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued a reminder to people of the dangers of entering open water and cold water shock after a woman died in the High Peak.

Thursday, 28th April 2022, 4:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2022, 4:22 pm

Firefighters from Whaley Bridge and New Mills, as well as police, ambulance and the air ambulance were called to an incident at Bridgemont on Monday afternoon.

A 39-year-old woman, who has not yet been named, travelled from Manchester with two friends to swim in the river as part of a cold water therapy session. However, she soon got into difficulties, collapsed in the water and then died.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said they would like to extend condolences to the family and friends of the deceased at this sad and distressing time.

Emergency services at the scene. Photo - Dave Atkins

They added: “While we cannot and will not comment or speculate on the circumstances and cause of this tragic death, we would like to remind people of the dangers of entering open water and cold-water shock.”

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Group Manager Lee Williams said: “Derbyshire has numerous open water sites, including quarries, reservoirs, lakes, and rivers. They all have hidden dangers including strong currents, and hidden debris which could cause entrapment.

“The temperature of open water is also a danger. Even the strongest of swimmers can get into difficultly as cold-water shock causes muscles to cramp, breathing can become difficult and heart rates can increase, this can cause people to panic and lead to drowning.

“This week we are joining fire and rescue services across the UK, supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) ‘Be Water Aware’ week, raising awareness of the dangers of open water, cold water shock and the impact this can have on your own safety.

“If you do enter open water and get into difficulty, use the ‘Float to Live’ technique, lay on your back, put your arms and legs out and float, this will allow you to calm your breathing, gain control and either call for help, or swim to safety.”