Deadly games

PUBLISHED: 07:27 13 October 2006 | UPDATED: 19:49 01 June 2010

A Port staff member replaces one of the vandalised lifebelts

A Port staff member replaces one of the vandalised lifebelts

LIVES are being put at risk in Wisbech by vandals throwing lifebelts from the west bank of the River Nene into the water. Fenland District Council revealed this week that seven lifebelts have been tossed into the river. The council has urged people to cal

LIVES are being put at risk in Wisbech by vandals throwing lifebelts from the west bank of the River Nene into the water.

Fenland District Council revealed this week that seven lifebelts have been tossed into the river.

The council has urged people to call the police if they see anyone throwing the life-savers into the river.

"There has been a spate of incidents where mindless people have been throwing the lifebelts into the river and they are endangering people's lives," said a council spokesman,

"More than seven of the lifebelts have been tossed into the water and there is grave concern that, as a result, anyone who falls in could suffer from hypothermia and drown before they can be pulled to safety"

In recent years, six people have fallen into the Nene in Wisbech. All were rescued because lifebelts were on hand quickly.

The spokesman added: "The water is extremely cold, even in the summer, and people have only about 15 minutes before they start to feel the effects of hypothermia."

Councillor Mac Cotterell, the council's portfolio holder for the port, said: "I'm sure the people who are doing this see it as nothing more than a harmless prank.

"But they need to know they are endangering the lives of people who may be unfortunate enough to fall into the river.

"If anyone sees the lifebelts being tampered with, please call the police. It could save someone's life."

- Road safety experts are joining forces from Monday to launch a campaign encouraging motorists to slow down and drive carefully alongside waterways . . . or face the possibility of drowning.

Cambridgeshire County Council said incidents involving submerged vehicles as a result of cars running off the road were rare, but there were a small but worrying number in the county, with, typically, three or four crashes a year with on average one fatal incident.

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