Sergeant warns of marina dangers

A PORTISHEAD police sergeant, hailed a hero after diving into the town’s marina to rescue a teenager, has warned of the grave dangers of jumping into the water.

Sergeant Jim Robinson spent more than 30 minutes in the deep, cold water on October 6, to bring a 15-year-old to safety.

He said: “People don’t realise how cold the water is and hypothermia can set in quite quickly. Because the water is low, even with the lights on along the nearby path, it is very dark and difficult to see where the ladders are to get back out.”

The girl, who lives in Portishead, was one of a crowd of youngsters who had gathered on the waterfront close to the Viaggio sculpture. She decided to jump into the water and when she didn’t get out, her friend jumped in to rescue her. The pair then began to struggle.

With the help of a life ring, one of the girls managed to get to a ladder on the marina’s edge, but the rings are on long ropes and the second girl was too far out for the life ring to reach her.

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Sgt Robinson, who is a strong swimmer, swam out to her and kept her afloat until the marina safety boat and other rescue services arrived.

The 43-year-old sergeant added: “A by-law in place makes jumping into the marina an offence and by-laws exist for a reason, in this case to safeguard people.

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“It is important that people realise how dangerous it is. While the cold is the main danger, there are numerous other risks, including pollution, disease and the presence of hidden obstructions beneath the surface.”

A spokesperson for marina managers Quay Marinas said the company’s safety record is very important and all the marina operating procedures are under constant review.

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