Shadwell Basin water safety issues highlighted by heatwave

It seems only to be a matter of time before there is a death in the water at Shadwell Basin. There have been a number of drownings in the old dock over the years.

Shadwell Basin
Shadwell Basin

The photograph above taken by local resident Dominic King illustrates the problem perfectly – large numbers of young people attracted to the Basin by the lure of cold water on a baking hot day.

Deep, dangerous, cold

The problem is that the water in the Basin is always very cold indeed. The unwary – or just plain drunk – could find themselves incapacitated by the shock and drown.

In addition to the cold the Basin is very deep and just plain dangerous to swim in.

The official advice from Met Police Tower Hamlets is that if you see people swimming in the Basin then please call them so they can advise them of the dangers.

Trouble is looking at the number of people in the photo above even MPS Tower Hamlets would have their hands full advising them all how not to go about dying.

Wildlife scared away

Although many of those who go for a dip or just hang around in the sun on Brussels Wharf are just out to enjoy themselves others seem intent on causing trouble, especially to the wildlife.

As Dom mentioned on Twitter none of the birds who are normally resident in the Basin could be seen – scared off by the noise.

Let’s hope they return.

Bottom line is that the Council and the Police need to get together with residents and sort out a long term solution to this problem before we have a death on our hands.