Group rescued from fast-flowing Lindfield river

A group of young people had to be rescued from a fast-flowing river today (Monday, August 9).

Monday, 9th August 2021, 6:29 pm

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (WSFRS) has issued a stark warning about the dangers of open water swimming following the incident, which happened just after 3.15pm in East Mascalls Lane, Lindfield.

WSFRS said crews from Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and the service’s Technical Rescue Unit attended, alongside Sussex Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service.

Marvin Smith, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s national resilience flood rescue tactical advisor, said: “One of the group was injured but it is only pure luck that no one lost their life today. This incident could so easily have ended in tragedy.

Fire crews were called to the rescue. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

“Please, please do not be tempted to swim in open water unless you are completely certain it is safe.

“The heavy recent rain has swollen river levels and rapidly increased the speed of the water, making it impossible to safely swim, even in rivers people are familiar with.

“Even if water looks calm it may not be under the surface, and cold water shock is the cause of many of the deaths we sadly see each year in rivers and lakes.”

The fire service is urging everyone to #BeWaterAware and to follow advice on open water swimming.

The people who went in the water were slammed for 'mindless stupidity' by someone on social media. Photo: Eddie Mitchell