Crookes Valley Park drowning: Residents' shock as tragedy fails to deter swimmers

Residents who frequent a Sheffield park where a man was sadly found dead in the water say past tragedies have failed to deter swimmers.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 11:06 am
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 11:08 am

A man’s body was found in the lake at Crookes Valley Park last night but barely 12 hours later unperturbed swimmers were back in the pond.

South Yorkshire Police then confirmed this morning that a body was found by the emergency services just before midnight.

However, a visit to the park this morning showed that it was business as usual - with people walking their dogs and jogging around the park.

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A warning sign that says "Danger Deep Water" at the park.
A warning sign that says "Danger Deep Water" at the park.

The entrances leading to the park were also no longer taped off.

Residents who did not want to be identified, said there have been a couple of tragic incidents over the years but that did not stop people from taking a dip in the pond.

"It's unbelievable, really. I approached one of the swimmers earlier and he told me that he should be given the freedom to swim anywhere he wants,” said one person.

"These swimmers, they swim all weathers even through winter. They call themselves cold water swimmers.

Emergency services at Crookes Valley Park, Sheffield, where a huge search was launched after a man reportedly got into difficulty in the water

"I would've thought there would have been more police activity this morning, though. But they must have found the body, that's why we were allowed in.

"We came here after 7.30 this morning and people were already walking in. I understand it is lovely to see young people enjoying themselves.

"But it was unreal to see a lot of young children swimming in the water yesterday and the day before.”

One of the swimmers, who also declined to be identified, said he had only heard of the incident this morning.

He said: "I don't think we're okay to swim here… but I don't think anything is officially sanctioned within the policy.

"We go to reservoirs and we tend to see signs all over the place so we just need to be careful, that's all.

"I mean, we are responsible for ourselves and we certainly don't drink."

Police vehicles and four fire engines were last night stationed at the entrance to the park in Crookes Valley Road.

The public park, which has a large lake in its centre, was also sealed off to members of the public with police tape.