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Danger lies beneath the surface warns RNLI

PUBLISHED: 11:02 08 July 2010 | UPDATED: 11:48 23 August 2010

RESIDENTS should fight the temptation for a cooling swim in the River Thames, according to a lifeboat officer. Strong tides and large variations in the water s depth makes a dip a risk not worth taking, warned Dave Greenfield at Gravesend Lifeboat centre

RESIDENTS should fight the temptation for a cooling swim in the River Thames, according to a lifeboat officer.

Strong tides and large variations in the water's depth makes a dip a risk not worth taking, warned Dave Greenfield at Gravesend Lifeboat centre as the town enjoys a series of scorching summer days.

He said: "It is against one of the river's by laws to swim in the Thames but we are not here to tell you can't go swimming. All I can do is warn that it might look inviting and sparkling, but don't think it is safe because is it not. An Olympic swimmer couldn't swim against the tides we are experiencing, which can be up at two knots.

"I was on the promenade and you see kids jumping off. There is a lot of rubbish lurking beneath the surface that you just can't see."

Last Sunday a pair of rowers receiving a puncture to their boat after going over unnoticed debris in the afternoon.

Earlier the life boats were called out to help a capsized rower who had become stuck in the mud.

Mr Greenfield added: "We are not here to spoil your fun, but my advice is if you are thinking about swimming in the Thames, don't.

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