Teddington: 'beach' returns and swimmers cool off in Thames as Met Office issues extreme heat warning

  Posted: 19.07.21 at 18:06 by Ellie Brown

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Temperatures in Teddington soared to 31 degrees today after a weekend of sweltering weather which saw many people taking to the river to cool off.

Teddington 'beach' returned as sun-bathers filled the small sandy patch between the two footbridges in the afternoon of Saturday 17 July, with many going for a dip in the Thames.

While most stuck to the shallow area between the beach and the Lock's moorings, photos taken by Kingston resident Ollie Monk show people jumping into the Thames from the footbridges.

This activity is extremely risky, as Teddington RNLI officer Matt Allchurch explains in this video .

The RNLI warned last year that jumpers risk serious spinal and other injuries, plus cold water shock on entry which can kill in seconds.

There are also serious dangers to anyone swimming in the Teddington Lock Navigation channel, which is located between the riverside at Ham and the blue cantilever footbridge.

The 'beach' by the Thames returns as residents cool off from the 31 degree heat (Photo by Ollie G. Monk)

The channel is often used by large transit boats and strong currents near the Lock pose a risk to swimmers.

According to Kingston Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) a young man was fortunate to escape serious injury when he was injured by a boat's propeller while swimming in the channel.

In a post on Twitter accompanied by a photo of Teddington Lock, Kingston MVS said: "This beach is a safe place to swim as long as people are sensible and stay close to the bank.

"Teddington lock on the other side of the island is NOT safe with a narrow navigation channel and large trip boats transiting."

Swimming in the channel is also against the Thames byelaws .

Teddington or the mediterranean? It's hotter here than at the French Riviera, according to weather.com (Photo by Ollie G. Monk)

But only last month the channel was filled with groups of youths going for a swim, despite the location of safer swimming spots upstream at Ham.

Extreme heat warning

The hot weather in Teddington comes as the Met Office announced its first ever Extreme Heat warning for areas in the UK.

The Office issued an 'Amber - Be Prepared' weather warning for South Wales, the West Midlands, South West England and areas in Hampshire as temperatures are expected to climb to 33 degrees in parts of Britain and remain in the high 20s and low 30s for other areas - including Teddington

It said: "The impacts of extreme heat can be many and varied.

There were people seen jumping off the bridge - despite the RNLI warning that this is a very dangerous activity (Photo by Ollie G. Monk)

"It can have health consequences, especially for those who are particularly vulnerable, and it can impact infrastructure, including transport and energy, as well as the wider business community.

"During hot weather we often see increased traffic near coastal areas, increased use of open water by the public, and an increase in wildfire risk.

"Much of the UK has been in heatwave conditions in recent days, but temperatures are expected to climb further early this week, possibly reaching 33C in some western areas, but widely high 20s and low 30s elsewhere. "

For more about the Met Office warning and how to stay safe click HERE

With thanks to Ollie G. Monk for the photos. For more of his work, follow him on Instagram or visit his website HERE

Paddle-boarders were out on the river (Credit: Nub News)

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