Emergency services across Yorkshire issue urgent plea for people to stay away from open waters after three men die in one day

Emergency services across Yorkshire are warning people to stay away from open waters following the tragic deaths of three men in just a single day as a heatwave continues to grip the region.

The body of a man in his 50s was recovered from the River Ouse, close to the Water End Bridge in York on Sunday evening, while a man’s body was also pulled from the lake at Crookes Valley Park in Sheffield just before midnight on the same day.

Formal identification of both men is yet to take place, but officers believe they know the identity of both.

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The third body of a man was pulled from the water at at Pugneys Country Park in Wakefield today, following reports a man got into difficulty after entering the water on Sunday.

The York Rescue Boat.
The York Rescue Boat.

The park remained closed as the search took place and is expected to reopen tomorrow.

Police and fire services across the county have now issued urgent warnings about the dangers of open waters as the hot weather continues this week.

A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Our message to people is simple – please stay out of the water unless you are at a proper swimming pool or part of an organised open water swimming group.

“We know how tempting it is to go for a swim in lakes, canals and reservoirs, especially in hot weather like this, but there are too many risks.

Sonny Ferry died in the River Foss in York following a night out.

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“Open bodies of water are often much colder than they look – this can send your body into shock when you jump in and prevent you being able to swim to safety.

“You also have no idea what is underneath – hidden currents, rocks and rubbish being the main dangers that can cause you serious harm.

“With the summer holidays upon us, we call upon parents to speak to their children about the dangers and not giving into peer pressure.

“We really don’t want to see any more heart-breaking drownings in and around South Yorkshire this summer – each one is one too many.”

Andy Rose, the Group Manager at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service echoed his counterpart.

He said: “Unfortunately, during periods of warm weather we tend to see more people entering canals and rivers to cool down and swim.

“As appealing this may seem there are many hidden dangers that have tragically taken lives and we would urge members of the public to think twice before entering due the potential unseen hazards and risks.”

Meanwhile a new rescue boat named in memory of a 19-year-old man tragically killed when he fell into the River Foss in York will soon be operational in the city following a fundraising campaign by his family and friends.

Sonny Ferry had been on a night out in the city with friends when he fell into the river. His body was recovered from the water by the York Rescue Boat two days later.

The Spirit of Sonny was made possible after Mr Ferry’s family raised over £34,000 by undertaking numerous challenges.

The design will be based on a Patrol 660 with bespoke modifications and made by Highfield.

Mr Ferry’s family say they remain committed to further fundraising in his memory to ensure the boat and the volunteers are fully kitted out when the boat goes into service.

In a tribute to their son, Kate and Steve Ferry said: “Sonny was a dream, hilarious, lovely, a bit of a nightmare with money, fearless, naive.

“His name was Sonny but he was called Sunshine by a lot of people because that’s what he was. He’ll always be here because the sun’s always here.”