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Jubilee River safety message for teenagers

Published: 02 August 2020

The council is set to make a water safety film to warn young people of the dangers of going into open bodies of water.

A motion to create the film was passed last night (July 21) during the full council meeting and received support after being brought forward by Cllr Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and wellbeing.

Cllr Pantelic has been particularly moved by the stories of the families of Michael Scaife and Dajarn Daly both of whom got into difficulty in the Jubilee River and drowned. Both families have worked with the council to warn of the dangers of getting into the river after paying the ultimate price.

The film will reveal the dangers of cold water shock as well as the futility of vandalising life buoys that could be lifesavers in an emergency situation. It will show no matter who you are or what swimming ability you have, the river remains a constant threat.

The motion was formally moved by Cllr Rajinder Sandhu and seconded by Cllr Natasa Pantelic, was supported cross party in the council chamber.

The motion stated: “This council commends the Slough Safer Partnership ‘Stay out’ campaign which warns children and adults about the dangers of swimming in the Jubilee River and resolve to;
• Work with local partners and families who have lost loved ones to promote water safety for the Jubliee River
• Support the production of a video that educates young people on water safety and to share this with local schools
• Write to Slough’s MP, Tan Dhesi, asking that he continue to raise the issue of water safety in Parliament and lobby the government to expand their water safety education programme.

The motion was also supported by the co-chairs of the Safer Slough Partnership chief executive Josie Wragg and Slough area police commander Superintendent Gavin Wong.

Cllr Pantelic said: “I spoke to Michael Scaife’s mother and what she had to share was heart-breaking.

“We are doing everything we can to promote water safety in the Jubilee River but more needs to be done to educate children and young people in schools.

“This is why a video warning about the dangers of swimming in open water is so important which potentially includes interviews with young people and the matter being raised in Parliament too so there is a national drive to raise awareness and make sure water safety education is taking place.’’

The safety message will be available to schools from Easter next year.