Search

Hampstead Heath pond swimmers urged to get health checks after Sussie Ahlburg death

08:00 30 January 2014

Sussie Ahlburg

Sussie Ahlburg

Archant

A review into the safety of Hampstead Heath’s ponds following the death of Sussie Ahlburg has recommended that bathers undergo health checks before taking to the water.

Kenwood Ladies' Bathing Pond. Picture: Polly HancockKenwood Ladies' Bathing Pond. Picture: Polly Hancock

The report by the City of London Corporation’s property health and safety manager said people should have check-ups to ensure swimming in the ponds “is appropriate to their level of fitness and health”.

It also said they must “accept that there are hazards inherent in swimming in the ponds which are outside the reasonable control of the City”.

These included water-borne pathogens, variable water temperature, poor visibility and the depth of the ponds.

Paul Jeal, the senior swimming facilities manager at Hampstead Heath, said those with medical conditions should be required to inform lifeguards.

“We’re not going to start testing everyone before they get in the water,” he said.

“With the fatality, she [Sussie Ahlburg] had a heart condition and if she had told us prior to going swimming, lifeguards would have paid more attention to her.”

The review was carried out by the City, which manages the Heath, after celebrated photographer Ms Ahlburg drowned in the Kenwood Ladies’ Bathing Pond in August. It emerged at the inquest into her death in December that she had been warned not to swim in open water because of a heart condition.

Mr Jeal said: “The lifeguards were obviously very upset by the death of Sussie Ahlburg, but they’re just doing their job as they always have done.

“The report confirmed that our procedures and protocols are adequate and working well.”

Catherine Cinnamon, of the Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association, said swimmers were happy with how the ponds are managed.

She said: “As far as we are concerned, everything is absolutely in order. People have to take responsibility for their own health if they are doing this sort of activity.”

An external review was also carried out, by an independent risk management consultant, which concluded that the City is meeting its duty of care.

The consultant put forward a few suggestions, including signs informing people to tell lifeguards when they are going swimming.

However, the Corporation has refused to disclose the full text of the reports despite repeated requests from the Ham&High, releasing only summaries.

The Corporation claimed the information cannot be released as Hampstead Heath is run as a charity – exploiting a loophole in the Freedom of Information Act, which only applies to public bodies.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:29
Headteacher John Dowd spoke at the tribunal. Picture: Nigel Sutton

An employment tribunal has today rejected a former teaching assistant’s claims that she was discriminated against because of her disability.

Yesterday, 17:42
James Flanagan was jailed for the assault

A Kentish Town man has been jailed for a “sustained, cowardly and vicious” attack which left a top sports journalist in a coma.

Yesterday, 20:38
Crouch End neighbourhood forum members Dave Winskill, Sally Mustoe & Mark Afford

Yesterday, 15:39
The proposed strike has been called off Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A 48-hour Tube strike due to start tomorrow evening has been called off.

Yesterday, 15:31
Andy Sykes claims he saw a ghost in the early hours of the morning on Parliament Hill

A man claims to have had a ghostly encounter with a Victorian-style spectre on Hampstead Heath.

Yesterday, 14:56
Foodbank volunteers packing food for hungry residents. Picture: David Jones

A foodbank centre may be forced to close, after losing support from charity the Trussell Trust

Yesterday, 12:02
Former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband returned to his old school, Haverstock, this week. Picture: Jack Woodhouse

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband returned to his old Camden school as part of a national education campaign to encourage alumni to inspire current pupils.

Yesterday, 12:00
Noah Stoneman has reached the finals of the BBC young jazz musician of the year awards for 2016. Photo: Polly Hancock

The teenage jazz pianist has an eclectic musical taste, citing one of his greatest influences as American hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe