Missing swimmer riding an inflatable unicorn found dead as eight people drown on hottest day of year

POLICE divers have located a body in their search for a male swimmer who had been riding an inflatable unicorn, as eight people have drowned on the hottest day of the year. 

While enquiries were ongoing to identify the deceased, it was believed to be the same male reported to be in difficulty yesterday afternoon at Pugneys Country park, in Wakefield.

The man was the eighth person confirmed to have drowned on the hottest day of the year, when temperatures soared to almost 32C.

Witnesses said the missing bather entered the water with the blow-up toy despite "no swimming" notices.

Lifeguards also issued several warnings not to swim, according to people present at Pugneys Country park in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, on Sunday.

Families, many enjoying their first day out after months of staying at home, described "a wall of emergency vehicles" lining the water's edge.

An inflatable walkway and rescue boats were being used to comb the area, which council bosses said was expected to stay closed until Tuesday.

Councillor Michael Graham said:  "Sadly, the body of a man has been recovered from the lake at Pugneys Country Park earlier today. Emergency services attended on Sunday after reports of a male in difficulty in the water. "

Search teams had recovered the body, he said, while police enquiries were ongoing.

A police statement issued on Monday afternoon read: "Enquiries are now ongoing to identify the deceased, but it is believed that this is the same male who was reported to be in difficulty in the water at about 1.15pm yesterday."

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of the person involved, Cr. Graham said.

"This tragic incident is a stark reminder of the very real dangers of swimming in open water. We ask everyone to keep themselves safe and urge people not to swim in places that are not specifically created for swimming."


A sixth person is confirmed to have died late Sunday night in Dove Holes, Buxton, Derbyshire, just as the hottest day of the year was drawing to a close.

The man's body was recovered from water in a disused quarry in Dove Holes, Buxton, Derbyshire, just before 11pm.

Police were scrambled to reports a man had entered the water and "found himself in difficulty".

The tragic discovery was made after a four-hour search operation by emergency services.

Earlier, emergency crews discovered a body in the lake in Crookes Valley Park, South Yorks, at 7.30pm last night.

South Yorkshire Police said an underwater search team had recovered a body just before midnight, with formal identification having not yet taken place.

Everyone else jumped in trying to look for him. People were screaming and someone was shouting 'my friend's drowning'.

It came hours after a teenage girl drowned in an Oxfordshire lake. 

Cops revealed they were called to Ducklington Lake, in Witney, at around 2.35pm on Sunday and the girl was then pulled from the water.

However, Thames Valley Police revealed despite being taken to hospital she later tragically died.

The girl’s family have been informed and are being closely supported by specially-trained officers.

The death is being treated as unexplained and non-suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.

Meanwhile police yesterday discovered the body of a 19-year-old man who vanished in Salford Quays.

Greater Manchester Police were unable to revive the teen, who went missing on Sunday afternoon.

"Sadly, despite a rescue operation at Salford Quays this evening, a 19-year-old man has lost his life," a tweet on Greater Manchester Police's Twitter account read.

"Our thoughts are with this young man's family and friends, and the people who witnessed the tragic events."


Eyewitnesses last night claimed that the lad had entered the water in a desperate bid to rescue a dog.

One told the Manchester Evening News: "He jumped in to save his dog, the dog got out.

"Everyone else jumped in trying to look for him. People were screaming and someone was shouting 'my friend's drowning'".

Another said: “The dog jumped in first.

“He went in and they couldn’t find him for about an hour and a half.”

Police launched an underwater search in the Quays and pictures from the scene show emergency crews being called to the area – which was packed with locals enjoying the scorching heat.

Firefighters were seen climbing into diving equipment before heading into the waters as temperatures touched 30C.

The emergency came on the hottest day of the year and The Quays were full of swimmers diving into the water.


Elsewhere, another holidaymaker swimming in the sea near Blackpool, Lancs, on Saturday drowned after "accidentally getting out of his depth".

The RNLI and coastguard launched a frantic five-hour search for the stricken swimmer and took to the skies in a helicopter to try and establish his whereabouts after his disappearance at around 3.25pm.

Despite their efforts, the man's body was recovered near to where he went missing a number of hours later after the tide receded.

A man in his 40s died after falling off a cliff at Dorset beauty spot Lulworth Cove.

The tourist, who was aged in his 40s, had climbed part-way up the 200ft tall Stair Hole when he slipped and fell.

An air ambulance, coastguards, a lifeboat crew and police raced to the scene at 6.30pm yesterday as temperatures soared into the late 20s. 

Elsewhere, a boy who vanished after entering the River Eden in Rickery Park near Stony Holme, Carlisle was today identified as 16-year-old Mohammad Abdul Hamid.

His family and friends are being supported by officers.

Police launched a search after they received a report of concern for the welfare of the boy at around 9pm by North West Ambulance Service.

The body was found at around 11:45am on Sunday. Formal identification has not yet taken place.

A passersby told the BBC that he had heard someone had drowned in the river, but this has not been confirmed.

In York, the body of a man in his 50s was recovered from the River Ouse, close to the Water End Bridge on Sunday evening.

Officers attended the scene, along with the fire and ambulance services, after being contacted by kayakers shortly before 5pm.

While formal identification is yet to take place, North Yorkshire Police believe they know the identity of the deceased but are awaiting confirmation.


Meanwhile, a search was launched after a swimmer reportedly went missing in Ardingly Reservoir, Sussex.

Cops used drones, a helicopter and Kayaks to scour a huge lake before darkness fell.

Just last month, security guards were introduced at the site to stop unsupervised swimming.

Staff said the cold water temperature, silt, as well as hidden pipework and machinery make conditions extremely dangerous.

On Saturday, we reported how a dad-of-two died of a suspected heart attack after collapsing on a cricket field during a match.

Maqsood Anwar, 45, fell ill while bowling in the 27C weather near Barry, South Wales.

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