12:19PM, Wednesday 21 July 2021
UPDATE: Slough Borough Council has expressed its disappointment at the vandalism of life-saving buoys on Michael's Bridge in Datchet - named for a young man who died of cold water shock in the Jubilee River.
“The plaque commemorating Michael’s Scaife’s life is right next to the buoy on the bridge named after him which spells out the dangers of getting into the water," said a spokesman.
“Michael drowned from cold water shock and his family have spent the last six years campaigning for water safety.
“For people to spend time prising open boxes to throw the lifesaving rings into bushes or into the water beggars belief.
The could added that the Jubilee River is 'freezing cold' even in the temperatures of the past week.
“There are areas where the Jubilee River looks tranquil and safe. But just a few metres away is very deep and cold water and the current is strong. If someone were to get caught in such turbulence, they are unlikely to get out.
“We would urge parents to talk to their children about the dangers of open water and vandalising lifesaving equipment.
“A buoy could mean the vital second a person needs between life and death.
“We will continue to work with the Environment Agency around safety and the Jubilee River.”
The council earlier reported that the vandalism of several buoys along the jubilee river.
This could lead to increased risk of drowning, at a location that has seen several deaths of swimmers and divers over the past few years.
One of the locations where buoys have been damaged include Michael's Bridge near The Myrke which was renamed for a young man who died there.
Jubilee River patrols have revealed some of the buoys there have been vandalised - including the buoy placed on the bridge where Michael Scaife, 20, died of cold water shock on a hot day like today.— Slough Borough Council (@SloughCouncil) July 21, 2021
These simple devices can keep someone in trouble in the river alive. pic.twitter.com/DdjbsZ82Za
Michael Scaife, 20, died of cold water shock on a hot day in August 2015, after going in the water to aid a friend.
Three years later, 17-year-old Dajarn Daly and Nayeeb Ullah Naizai, 22, died within weeks of each other in the Jubilee River.
Shortly after, the Environment Agency placed additional warning signs urging people to stay out.
Slough council warned that the Jubilee River is a man-made river with steep sides and deep, cold water even on hot days.
Only recently, another young person, Jordan Veira, died in the area, in the River Thames between Cookham and Bourne End.
His family has since made calls for ‘meaningful change’ over water safety including more signs about the dangers of open water and more education in schools.
More safety and warning signs will be installed in key riverside locations, said Windsor and Maidenhead council.