Treacherous waters kill six as sun tempts bathers

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Six people, four of them children, have drowned after being tempted into treacherous waters by Britain's outbreak of sunny weather, police said yesterday.

Safety officials are issuing urgent warnings that no matter how tempting rivers and streams may appear, water temperatures can be very low and paddling and swimming are "just not worth the risk".

Victims of the succession of tragedies nationwide included two girls having an eighth-birthday riverside party. The bodies of Charlea Fox and her best friend Jasmine Neville, also eight, were found by police divers on Monday night, three hours after they were last seen playing on the banks of the River Wharfe in Otley, Leeds. It was the same river where Russell Hardacre, 31, from Bradford, drowned the day before a few miles upstream. Mr Hardacre, who had two children, died after diving into the water to cool off. It also emerged yesterday that Charles Rooke, the seven-year-old son of Giles Rooke, a Crown Court judge from Bridge, near Canterbury, had drowned in a neighbour's swimming pool. John MacDonald, 14, from Glasgow, also died on Monday after getting into difficulties in the River Leven in Balloch, Scotland. Colin Clark, 24, of Little Eddieston, Drumoak, also drowned - in the River Dee near Banchory, Scotland, on Monday night while swimming with friends.