Stoke & Staffordshire

Chasewater Reservoir drowning: Man 'died trying to rescue girl'

Warning at Chasewater Reservoir against swimming
Image caption There are signs around the reservoir warning people not to swim in the water

A man died "trying to save" a nine-year-old girl from drowning in a country park reservoir.

Police were called to Chasewater Reservoir in Burntwood, Staffordshire, at about 18:00 BST on Sunday to reports that two people were in difficulty.

A girl made it safely out of the water, but a 21-year-old man died.

The identities of the people involved are known to officers and their next of kin have been informed, a Staffordshire Police spokesperson said.

Image caption Police were called to Chasewater Reservoir at about 18:00 BST on Sunday

Sgt Fay Mills told the BBC the girl - previously thought to be 13, but now confirmed by police as nine - is thought to have been 30-40m (98-131ft) out in the water when the man, from Tamworth, went to help her.

"What we believe so far is a nine-year-old girl was struggling in the deep water. A 21-year-old male has tried to support and save her. Tragically he's lost his life in doing so," she said.

The force said his family would be offered support by specially trained officers.

Emergency services including West Midlands Ambulance Service, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Staffordshire Air Ambulance attended the scene.

Image caption A nine-year-old girl was pulled safely from the reservoir

Police said the coroner would be informed and appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

Chasewater Country Park and Reservoir is a popular family attraction with walking trails and play areas. The reservoir is used by boat and water skiers.

Staffordshire County Council issued a reminder of the dangers of open water after the death, and local councillor Mark Winnington said "everyone is upset to hear the tragic news".

"This is not a swimming lake," he said. "It is a sad reminder of how even the strongest swimmer can find themselves struggling while swimming in cold water."

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On Thursday and Friday, three men's bodies were pulled from the sea off the coast of south-west England.

Two were discovered near Torquay on Thursday and one was found near Prussia Cove, Cornwall, on Friday.

This followed the death of 12-year-old Shukri Yahya Abdi, who drowned in the River Irwell in Bury, Greater Manchester, on Thursday.

Police said her death was "tragic" and her family, who live in Bury, said she could not swim.

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