A FIRE chief is urging residents to stay clear of flooded areas after children were seen playing in floodwater in Marlow this morning.

A number of youngsters have been seen playing in the floodwater in Higginson Park by the River Thames today.

Danny Whitelock, manager of Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue's Training School in Haddenham, is pleading for people to stay out of the potentially dangerous water.

He said: “You can't see where the ground stops and the river starts.

“Although it might look like fun, playing in this water or even attempting to walk through it can be extremely dangerous.

"For a start, there’s always a chance that it has become contaminated.

“There are hidden dangers, such as debris that can trip you, and manhole covers that have lifted and moved, leaving an open drain underneath.

"Stepping into one of these could cause serious injury or worse.”

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue has released the following safety tips:

  • Do not attempt to walk through flooded areas. Even shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet, and there may be hidden dangers such as open drains, damaged road surfaces, submerged debris or deep channels. These can cause serious injuries or even death.
  • Children should not be allowed to play in flood water, which can become contaminated with sewage and chemicals.
  • Do not smoke, eat or drink while in contact with floodwater, and always wash your hands afterwards.
  • Keep up to date with radio and TV weather reports.
  • Motorists should not attempt to drive through flooded roads or fords. The water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast. Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded.
  • Look after neighbours. People have been known to suffer from hypothermia after their homes have become flooded with cold rainwater, even in the summertime.
  • Following a flood in your home, make sure all electrical circuits are fully dried out and checked by an electrical engineer before switching back on.