London

River Thames missing swimmers: Bodies found by search teams

Police divers
Image caption Police divers discovered a body in Shadwell Basin on Wednesday morning

Two bodies have been recovered in the hunt for three people who went missing in different parts of the River Thames on Tuesday.

The first body found is believed to be a 23-year-old man who vanished while swimming with friends near Shadwell Basin in Wapping.

A second body was found by officers searching for a 47-year-old man last seen in the water in Kingston.

Next-of-kin have been told and searches continue for a third missing man.

The discovery in Shadwell was made on Wednesday morning, while the body at Kingston was recovered at 16:30 BST.

The remaining missing man was last seen near Waterloo Bridge.

'Strong undercurrents'

With Britain braced for record-breaking heat, the RNLI has warned against cooling off in lakes and rivers.

The Met Police echoed this warning, with Insp Stuart Simpson, from its marine policing unit, saying: "Whilst at times, the Thames may look appealing, especially in this hot weather, it remains very dangerous all year round.

"On initial entry the water can seem warm on the surface, but further in it can be freezing cold and there are often very strong undercurrents.

"The initial shock of the cold water is often what leads to people going subsurface and subsequently drowning."

Image copyright @jbthiebaut
Image caption More swimmers were seen entering the water at Shadwell while police officers and a forensic tent remained at the scene

More swimmers were seen entering the water at Shadwell while police officers and a forensic tent remained at the scene on Wednesday.

BBC London's Greg Mckenzie said when asked why they would risk their safety, a group of teenagers replied: "We swim here every day."

As temperatures in London reached 32C on Tuesday, thousands of people headed for the river.

The hot weather has since continued and forecasters say temperatures could reach a record-breaking 39C (102.2F) in London as well as southern and eastern England on Thursday.

But lakes and rivers remain cold and can "literally take your breath away", the RNLI warned in a tweet.

London's new swimming lake in Beckenham Place Park also closed on Tuesday, five days after it opened, so new safety measures could be put in place.

A spokesperson for Lewisham Council, which is responsible for the park, said: "In order to manage the numbers of swimmers and lake users safely we are introducing some temporary fencing around the lake perimeter to restrict the amount of people in the water at any one time."

Parliament Hill Lido in Hampstead Heath, north London, also closed on Tuesday "until further notice due to crowd numbers".

Hampstead Heath said it was unlikely to re-open "at this stage with the numbers we have".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites