Safety reminder following removal of lifebelts

Lifebelt at Sandy Bottoms
The lifebelt at Sandy Bottoms has been regularly removed
5 August 2016

Safety warnings have been issued following the removal of a lifebelt donated by the family of a heroic Kendal man.

In 2004 Peter Cannon had been at Sandy Bottoms in Kendal with his partner and several children when one youngster got into difficulties in the River Kent.

Mr Cannon bravely rescued the child but became trapped himself and tragically died at Furness General Hospital, following a rescue by police officers.

In his memory, Mr Cannon’s family donated the lifebelt at Sandy Bottoms.

However, South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) officers say that since the beginning of last year the lifebelt has been removed four times.

There have also been seven other removals of the vital lifesaving equipment at riverside locations at Abbot Hall, Dockray Walk and Gooseholme over the same period.

On any occasion a lifebelt may have been used for legitimate purposes, however, council officers have stressed the importance of using the safety equipment appropriately.

Lake and parking services officer at SLDC, Frankie Flannigan, said: “Lifebelts and throw-lines are vital pieces of water safety equipment that can assist swimmers when they are in difficulty.

“Please do not tamper with or use this equipment unless you are assisting a swimmer in trouble. They are there to save lives.’’

With forecasters predicting warmer weather over the next week there is a strong likelihood more people will be heading to lakes and rivers across South Lakeland.

Peter Clarke, recreational engineer at SLDC, added: “At this time of year lifebelts and other water safety equipment have an even greater importance.

“We would advise people to only use them when necessary and report any misuse or faulty equipment. Of course these lifebelts may have been used to try to help someone, or may have been accidentally lost in the water.

“But we would ask that if you have cause to use a lifebelt or throw-line and it isn’t returned to the housing, that you report it to the council as missing so that we can organise for it to be quickly replaced.’’

To report any instances of missing or damaged lifebelts or throw-lines call 015394 427 53 or email lake.wardens@southlakeland.gov.uk.


For further information, please contact SLDC Communications Team on 01539 793300.