Public warned against cooling off in rivers and lakes, with warmest day still to come
Police are telling people not to swim in open water after the deaths of three people in 24 hours as temperatures soar across the UK.
A 12-year-old girl drowned in a river in Bury and two men died after being pulled from the sea off a beach in Torquay on Thursday.
The girl was named as Shukri Yahya Abdi by her family, who described her as sweet and innocent, on Friday afternoon. It is believed that Abdi, who came to the UK as a refugee from Somalia about 12 months ago, got into difficulty while in the water with two other girls.
Greater Manchester police said she had been found by underwater search teams four hours after officers had been called to the River Irwell at about 8pm.
DI Andrew Naismith of the forces Bury district said: This is an incredibly tragic incident in which a young girl has lost her life, and my thoughts are with her family at this devastating time. With the warmer weather, its tempting to go into the water to cool off, but Id like to remind everyone of the dangers of playing near or swimming in rivers, lakes and reservoirs and would strongly urge against this.
Devon and Cornwall police said the bodies of two men, aged 25 and 26, were recovered from the sea close to Babbacombe Beach in Torquay at about 2pm on Thursday by a lifeboat crew.
The men, who were local to the area and whose next of kin have been informed, were taken to hospital but later pronounced dead. Rescue teams were called to two other incidents around Torquay on Thursday.
According to the Met Office, Friday was the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures of 30C (86F) at around 3.50pm at Achnagart in Scotland, beating 2019s previous hottest day where it reached 28.8C in Weybourne in Norfolk on 2 June. The weather will get hotter still this weekend, mirroring the heatwave affecting much of Europe. The temperature hit 45.9C in Gallargues-le-Montueux in southern France on Friday the highest mainland France has registered since records began.
Hot air drawn in from northern Africa has brought sweltering temperatures across Europe. Meteorologists issued an unprecedented red alert for four areas in France, while in Spain firefighters are battling the worst wildfires to hit the Catalonia region in 20 years.
The Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said Friday night would be tricky for sleeping, with temperatures likely to remain warm and humid. South-east England and the east Midlands would experience the peak of heat on Saturday, he said, with temperatures capable of nearing the highest set for June 35.6C in 1976.
We will see the hottest day of the year so far, said Dewhurst. However, western parts of the country were likely to be cooler because there would be more cloud, he said.
By Sunday, temperatures in England are expected to be closer to average, with most place reaching the high teens or low 20s although it could be higher for East Anglia and the south-east.
Dewhurst said the spike in UK temperatures was not a heatwave, which is typically considered to be a hot spell lasting three days or more, like that affecting mainland Europe.
He said the outlook for next week was a mixture of sunny spells, scattered showers and lower temperatures.
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