CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Divers to trawl Hampstead Heath Men’s Pond after swimmer seriously injured

Actor Mathew Wernham said he "suffered a life-threatening injury"

08 August, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

A SPECIALIST team of search and rescue divers are set to trawl the muddy bed of the Men’s Pond on Hampstead Heath tomorrow (Thursday) – hoping to recover a sharp object that caused serious injury to a swimmer.

A man dived into the water from the jetty on Sunday and suffered a wound to his stomach, caused by an unidentified object.

He was rushed to the Royal Free Hospital, where surgeons stitched up a deep wound.

Heath swimmers told the New Journal that with water levels dropping due to the lack of rain fall, areas where it was once safe to dive are now shallower than before.

Parts of the pond can be up to 20 foot deep and have a silt bottom – but as water levels drop, swimmers have been able to dive down to reach the floor with comparative ease.

Lifeguards have now banned the use of the spring board at the pond until further notice.

Mathew Wernham, an actor, tweeted yesterday that he had “suffered a life-threatening injury”.

He said: “Please be careful everyone. That water is much shallower than usual.”

In one post, directed at Heath managers, City of London Corporation, he said: “I was expecting a feed full of warnings about the shallow water, but nothing. I have seen videos of friends swimming in the same place on Monday. Your lifeguards are fantastic but can’t all be left to them.”

A Heath spokesman said: “Public safety is our number one priority and measures are in place to prevent people from diving off the jetty while an accident investigation is underway.

“Signs warning and advising swimmers about diving into the bathing pond are clearly visible.

“A man was taken to hospital on Sunday after he dived off the jetty and emerged with an injury to his abdomen.

“Hampstead Heath staff gave first aid to the man at the scene and he was later taken to hospital by the London Ambulance Service.

“We wish him a full and speedy recovery.”

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