You are currently viewing UK heatwave claims 11 lives; Boy, 14, who ‘drowned in the River Thames’ becomes latest to die in unprecedented hot weather
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  • Robert Hattersley, 13, died following an incident in the River Tyne on Sunday 
  • A 16-year-old has died today after getting into difficulty in a Maidenhead lake 
  • A man, 37, also died on Saturday in the sea next to popular Brighton Beach
  • At least ten people have died in open water incidents since hot weather began
  • Boy, 14, has drowned, police said, as they called off the search into his rescue 
  • Police have warned of the dangers of going into the water to cool off in the heat

A 14-year-old boy is missing after getting into difficulty in the Thames in Richmond and has drowned, Richmond Police said. 

Emergency services were called at 5 pm to a child seen in the water at Tagg’s Island in Hampton and searched the area for the boy but were unsuccessful. 

The rescue operation was brought to an end at 6.40pm while efforts to recover his body will continue into the evening. His next of kin have been informed, Met Police said. 

This makes him the eleventh person to die in open water since July 9 in the UK when the current heatwave began. 

The news comes after Robert Hattersley, 13, from Crawcrook, tragically died following an incident in the River Tyne on Sunday as his family said they were ‘absolutely devastated by what has happened’.

The ‘kind and loving’ teenager died after getting into difficulty in a river near Ovingham, Northumberland, over the weekend.


Emergency services and the Government have reiterated urgent warnings about the dangers of trying to keep cool after several tragedies in waterways and reservoirs during the heatwave. 

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Robert Hattersley, 13, from Crawcrook, died following an incident in the river near Ovingham in Northumberland on Sunday.
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Jamie Lewin, 16, died in a quarry at Dawber Delph, Appley Bridge, near Wigan on Saturday
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London Ambulance were called to Hampton following a child seen entering the water at Tagg’s Island at 4.43pm.


An extensive search was carried out involving all three emergency services and members of the public but stopped at 6.40pm while efforts to recover his body continue into this evening.

His next of kin are aware and are being supported by specialist officers.


Met Police Superintendent Richard Smith, from the South West Command Unit, said: ‘Despite the very best efforts of all involved, we must now sadly conclude that this young boy has died.

‘His death is a tragedy and I cannot begin to imagine what his family will be going through. All our thoughts are with them.

‘I know that on days like today when temperatures are at a record high, it might look appealing to jump in and cool off in rivers, reservoirs, lakes or other open water.

‘Please don’t. The dangers are real and this evening in Richmond we have seen the terrible consequences of what happens when it goes wrong.’

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Alfie McCraw, 16, from Wakefield died after jumping into a West Yorkshire canal with friends

In a statement released through the police, Robert’s family said: ‘It is impossible to put into words the heartbreak we are feeling – Robert was so kind and loving. We are absolutely devastated by what has happened.

‘He brought a smile to so many people’s faces and he will be missed by absolutely everyone who knew and loved him.’


Detective chief inspector Martin Brooks, of Northumbria Police, said: ‘This is an absolutely tragic update that we sincerely hoped we would never have to give.’

Following the death today in Bray Lake, Superintendent Michael Greenwood, the LPA Commander for Windsor and Maidenhead, said: ‘This is an absolute tragedy in which a young boy has died after getting into difficulty in the water of Bray Lake.

Lennox Mall

‘The boy’s next of kin have been notified and are being offered support at this extremely difficult and traumatic time.

‘My thoughts, and the thoughts of all of us at Thames Valley Police are with the boy’s family and his friends, and we would ask that their privacy is respected.’


Thames Valley Police said officers were called at 11.45 am on Monday and a body was located at just after 1.30 pm, when he was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

Today, police were also seen near the River Irwell in Bury today at around 4 pm as police parked in Jubilee Way. 


A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police told Manchester Evening News: ‘Officers were called by colleagues from Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service just after 4 pm today to a report of a body in water. Emergency services are in attendance and enquiries are on-going.’

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘Just before 4 pm this afternoon, two fire engines from Bury central and Ramsbottom fire station were called to reports of a person in the water on Jubilee Way, Bury. The crews arrived quickly at the scene.

‘Firefighters wearing full water kit rescued one person from the water. Firefighters have been in attendance for around an hour and are still at the scene.’

A man was also rescued today by fire, police and ambulance services today after he was seen in Erewash canal near Sandiacre, Derbyshire.


A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service told Notts Live: ‘One person was in the water and luckily that person has been rescued from the water. All fire crews are now out of the water and the person is now with EMAS.’ 

There have now been at 11 water-related deaths since the heatwave began, as Brits try to cool off in the sweltering temperatures. 

With temperatures set to possibly hit above 40C tomorrow, plenty of people have been taking dips in open water.

However police have issued warnings to the public, urging caution and asking people to stay out of the water despite the heat.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay also warned of ‘significant dangers’ for people tempted to swim in a river to cool off.

Asked whether people should be going outside and visiting beaches, Mr Barclay told reporters people should use ‘common sense’ and follow the advice of public health experts.

That meant ‘hydration, covering up, being in the shade, avoiding the times of the day when heat is at its peak’.

He added: ‘There is a particular message, particularly for teenagers, children, some of those who may be tempted to go for a swim – there are significant dangers of that, quite often when people go swimming in rivers when we have very hot weather.

‘So it’s following common sense steps and keeping an eye on neighbours and those who are vulnerable. And following the guidance that’s been put out by the relevant bodies.’

Mr Barclay said the ‘well-established contingency plans’ put in place in response to the high temperatures drew on the experiences of the 2003 heatwave in France, which saw around 15,000 heat-related deaths in the country.

The NHS has ‘extreme heat plans’ published in May and local trusts ‘manage the pressures themselves’.

The Government was coordinating the response and ‘closely monitoring the situation, he added.

Daily Mail UK

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