Bedford Throw Line launch (left to right) Ben Ireland (Park Inn Hotel), Emilie (The Embankment pub), David Lynch (Bedfordshire fire and Rescue Service), Alison Barnes (Park Inn Hotel), PC Hayley Hunter (Bedfordshire Police) Image: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Nine Bedford businesses to help prevent drownings in the town’s river

After incidents on Bedford’s river, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Bedfordshire Police have provided throwlines to nine businesses alongside The Embankment and the new development on River Street.

These are – The Embankment pub, Swan Hotel, The Longholme Café, Park Inn Hotel, Albero Lounge, Wagamamas, Zizzi, Premier Inn Hotel and Toast.

Gemma Mallett, General Manager at the Embankment pub, said:

“We feel this is an important piece of work and feel excited to work with emergency services to prevent further deaths on Bedford river.”

Life belt and line near water Photo by Micaela Parente on Unsplash

Most of the businesses work as night time economy, or in the case with the hotels, operating 24/7. So this initiative offers more chance in identifying someone who might be in trouble in the water.

The throwlines will be kept on the business premises. On identifying someone in trouble a member of staff will call 999 to alert Fire Service. Another member of staff can take the throw line down to the riverside to attempt a bank side rescue.

David Lynch, Area Community Safety Officer (Beds Fire), said:

“[This] means businesses can more readily raise the alarm to Fire Service on a stretch of river that has already been the scene of a number of incidents.”

Throwlines have also been installed in 54 police vehicles. Superintendent Nicholas Lyall from Bedfordshire Police said:

“Water rescue is a really important issue and I am grateful that between us, Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service and Bedfordshire Police have been able to fund these throw lines for police vehicles.

“It is vital that as first responders we all have access to this life saving equipment, having used one myself to save somebody from drowning several years ago, I know how vital they are.”

For more information on water safety please visit Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Services’s water safety page.