Statement from Leader on tragic death at Bedfont Lakes

Statement from the Leader of the Council

Published: Tuesday, 9th August 2022

Cllr Rajawat

Sadly, a man in his early 20s drowned yesterday, August 9, after getting into difficulties while swimming at Bedfont Lakes.  

Police were called to the scene at 5.20pm following concerns that the man had entered the water but not returned to shore. A wide-spread search was carried out by police and firefighters, and his body was recovered shortly before midnight. 

The man’s family has been informed and the death is not being treated as suspicious. Bedfont Lakes south side (Challenge Road entrance) is currently closed until further notice. 

Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “This is a truly tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathies are with the man’s family and friends. 

“The safety of visitors to Hounslow’s parks and open spaces is of the utmost importance to the Council and its partners. Many of our waterside locations have signs stressing the dangers of entering the water and life-preservers on-site, and our park rangers patrol the areas on a regular basis. 

“I urge everyone to please stay out of open water such as lakes, rivers and canals unless it’s part of an organised swim supervised by a lifeguard. There are often dangers just below the surface such as plants, branches and strong currents which could leave any swimmer in difficulty. 

“I would like to thank the emergency services for their efforts and Council staff who attended to support those at the scene.” 

Each year, an average of 400 people drown in an accident in or around water, according to figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. 

Advice on how to stay safe: 

  • Do not enter any water which is unsupervised – only swim in lakes which have organised swimming with lifeguards present, or use your nearest swimming pool. 

  • Take care near the water’s edge and make sure children are supervised. 

  • Alcohol and water don’t mix – one in three drownings is linked to alcohol consumption. 

  • Stay calm – if you do find yourself in the water, remain calm and keep your breathing under control. You can do this by floating on your back or paddling to stay on the surface. If someone else is in difficulty keep talking to them and reassure them. 

  • Get help – Call 999 and ask for London Fire Brigade and Coast Guard (if on Thames) or ask bystanders to call.  

*Update - Bedfont Lakes south side (Challenge Road entrance) has now reopened.*

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