YOUNGSTERS swimming in the River Teifi at Newcastle Emlyn in the wake of Storm Dennis have been warned they are risking their lives.

A group of teenagers were diving into the water above the weir in the town on Monday (February 17) with the river still in full flood after heavy rain and gales had battered the area over the weekend.

Freelance writer Sue Tabbitt says it is vital parents talk to their children, stressing the dangers. She has also been in contact with the local police, town council and secondary school.

“It’s just so dangerous and simply beggars belief. I cannot believe that with everything that has been on the news in recent days that they cannot realise how dangerous the river is,” said Sue.

“I walk my dogs down there every day and often during the summer you see piles of uniforms on the bank and the kids in the river and it’s dangerous enough even then.

“There is a life buoy by the river but there are no signs. Perhaps there needs to be something there that is hard-hitting and spells out the number of people who have drowned and makes people think twice about what they are doing.

“And it’s not just the strength of the current that is the problem.

“If they are diving in, they cannot see what is under the surface and they only need to get caught on something under the water and they are in real trouble. There is also the risk of cold water shock.

“I have been in contact with one of the boys involved and it is not about them getting into trouble. It’s about keeping them safe.

“He said ‘can’t we just have fun in the river?’ and if someone had got into trouble they could have helped each other.

“There is just a total lack of appreciation of the dangers and also the bravado, thinking that because there is a few of them they are safe.

“The message is just not getting through to these kids and it’s just lucky that they all got out safely. Parents need to stress the dangers to their children.”

Adam Whitehouse, from Carmarthenshire Water Safety Partnership, was involved in installing a lifebuoy on the banks of the Teifi at Newcastle Emlyn following the death of Jem Pendragon back in 2017.

He said: "The kids just think it's a matter of diving in and then climbing back out. They have no idea of how quickly things can change and you are soon no longer in control of what happens next.

"It's all about educating our youngsters and getting that message across.

"This week we we officially launched our󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 bilingual water safety leaflets at the RoSPA water safety conference in London, in partnership with the RNLI and National Fire Chiefs Council.

"These leaflets will be going to schools across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, including Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn and are for both pupils and teachers."

"We are committed to reaching as many communities and organisations as possible.

Carmarthenshire Water Safety Partnershipwas set up after after Cameron Comey fell into the River Towy, Carmarthen, and was swept away on February 17, 2015 - exactly five years to the day of the children swimming in the Teifi at Newcastle Emlyn.