By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services
The Broads Authority, police and fire and rescue service are stepping up patrols to prevent a serious accident or, worse, the waste of a young life as hot weather combined with school holidays brings out dangerous swimming and speeding boats.
Rangers have been giving safety advice to boaters and swimmers, including people in Caen Meadow near Wroxham who were getting in the way of passing boats and more than 40 others swimming in the mill pond at Horstead, some of whom were jumping from the mill over a concrete plinth into the fast flowing water.
While swimmers listened to our warnings and advice we had reports that they carried on after we left but police were alerted and asked to call in.
There was more drama at Norwich when a man jumped into the river from Foundry Bridge to escape police, and despite the best efforts of officers, he refused to come out.
Eventually he was arrested and was lucky to have been pulled out before being hit by a passing boat while, again in Norwich, a group of young people who were dangerously jumping in the busy river from another bridge were dealt with by rangers.
Broads Beat police and an Environment Agency officer accompanied a ranger on a late launch patrol near Wroxham.
Two stag parties were stopped and given written warnings and advice while 42 fishing licences were checked resulting in two enforcement notices.
The previous week Breydon Water rangers followed up on a report of illegal skiing, which is only allowed for Broads Authority permit-holders who have complied with certain conditions, with signs on Breydon notifying people. We also followed up a call from police about a canoeist scaring birds at the high water roost on Breydon and are liaising with officers about keeping a check on this.
One of the Wroxham team rangers gave written care and caution warnings to four day boat crews following reports of them playing dodgems and jumping between boats in the Horning area.
Lastly a man called control to complain he had been attacked and hurt by a shire horse while walking on a footpath near Acle but he was referred to Norfolk County Council officers.