Teenage boy, 16, dies after swimming in West Yorkshire canal during heatwave | UK News

A 16-year-old boy has died after getting into difficulties while swimming in a canal in West Yorkshire.

The body of Alfie McCraw, from Wakefield, was found during a search of the Aire and Calder Navigation after he was reported missing on Monday afternoon.

Superintendent Nick Smart said: “This was an extremely tragic incident which has resulted in the loss of the life of a boy who had just finished his GCSEs.

“We have specially trained officers who are supporting Alfie’s family at this unimaginably awful time.

“We are working with the Canal & River Trust to deliver some inputs into schools before they break up for the holidays to warn of the dangers of open water swimming, but we need everyone to help us in spreading this message.

He urged people to “not be tempted to cool off in open water, unless it is a supervised area intended for swimming”.

The emergency services have issued reminders in recent days of the dangers of open water, which can be very cold and induce hyperventilation.

The Canal & River Trust warns on its website that there are also hidden risks of open water swimming, including submerged debris, reeds and unexpected cold-water shock.

Alfie’s death comes amid warnings of soaring temperatures in the coming days.

The Met Office issued a rare amber weather warning for most of England early this week, suggesting the country could see “exceptionally high temperatures”.

Wakefield District Station Commander Jimmy Fitt said: “When the warm weather comes around, we do see a spike in the number of people entering water – and this can unfortunately prove fatal.

“Our advice is to not go into any area of water that isn’t supervised – as the pull of water, cold water shock and hidden dangers can mean even strong swimmers get into difficulty.”

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