News release text
Firefighters are reminding parents to keep their families safe by being aware of the dangers of playing in or near floodwater, after three people got into difficulty at the weekend.
Dartford’s fire crews were called to Station Road, Farningham just after 2pm on Saturday, (18 January). Watch Manager, Lee Able said: “It appears a 13-year-old boy had made a raft, which got taken out of control into deep water and as it drifted towards the weir, it capsized with him on it.
“His father and grandfather, who were on the riverbank, went into the water with lines on and managed to reach the boy but also got into difficulty. Fortunately, the strength of flow pushed them back towards the bank, where they were able to tow themselves in and cling to tree branches, before dragging themselves out of the water. Had this not happened, it could have very easily been a totally different story, with tragic consequences.”
The boy was treated for hypothermia and all three were suffering from shock.
Lee added: “Please don’t take risks by walking, swimming or playing in floodwater, rivers or streams. It’s easy to underestimate the depth, how fast the water is moving and any hidden hazards. It only takes 15 centimetres (6 inches) of rapidly moving water to knock a person off their feet.
“Paths covered in floodwater may also hide hidden dangers. If you can’t see the ground, you don’t know what’s there. Floodwater can wash drain covers away, leaving holes that you could easily fall into.”