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Fire Service issues Summer water safety advice after two girls got into difficulty in the River Wharfe


West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is issuing a weather related water warning following an incident in Ilkley on Tuesday evening where two young girls got into difficulty in the River Wharfe.

A crew from Ilkley Fire Station happened to be in the area of the river called Crom Wheel which is a popular spot for people to sit on the river bank and enjoy the sunshine.

At around 7.45pm on Tuesday the crew was carrying out some training around 100 yards up the river when they heard screams.

They abandoned their training and rushed to help as people were shouting that two girls were missing in the water.

Crews gathered their rescue equipment and hurried downstream, meanwhile a member of the public who was already there managed to rescue the girls, aged around seven and eight years old.

The children were given first aid at the scene by firefighters and an Ambulance was called. Firefighters also ensured that everyone else was accounted for.

The younger child was taken to hospital for a check-up and was conscious and breathing at the time, the older child did not attend hospital.

Watch Commander Alex Watson said: “This is a popular spot locally for people to congregate and on this evening there must have been around 100 people there enjoying the sunshine, children and adults alike.

“The weather we are enjoying is fabulous but please do bear in mind that despite the temperatures outside, the water can be incredibly dangerous and you can get into trouble in a split second.

“Cold water shock can take over your body and make it almost impossible to swim.

“This part of the river can look particularly inviting because it is shallow around the edges but you can quickly drift into the middle and where the river bends there are some strong currents underneath which could drag a small child away.”

Following the incident crews returned to the scene on Wednesday to give out water safety advice to the public.

There’s lots of information about water safety on our own website and you can also check out the Royal National Lifeboat Institution campaign Respect the Water here

This gives advice on how to react should you find yourself stricken in the water.