Readers' letters - July 20

Help save young people's lives this hot summer

Friday, 20th July 2018, 4:19 pm
Updated Friday, 20th July 2018, 4:22 pm
A correspondent warns of swimming in open water

With the start of the school summer holidays and the continuing warm weather, I am writing to request your readers’ help in saving young peoples’ lives.Over the last six weeks, there have been a number of tragic drownings in quarry lakes, reservoirs, canals and other, similar man-made bodies of open water. All too often, these tragedies occur when people are engaged in what they perceive as harmless fun, either cooling off in the water or playing near the water’s edge.Man-made water bodies like quarry lakes and reservoirs can be extremely deep, have sudden changes in water depth, be difficult to exit and conceal a range of hazards such as entangling weeds. Quarry faces and edges can be unstable and suddenly give way, resulting in falls into water. The water can also be extremely cold. At 15C and below, the body can experience cold water shock when immersed in water, this results in a sudden, involuntary inhalation of water into the lungs which can be deadly. The cold water can also cause even strong swimmers to tire quickly.Statistics show that nearly half of accidental drownings occur following an unexpected fall into water. Cold water shock is a significant factor. The RNLI is recommending that someone plunged into water initially floats on their back, allowing their body to acclimatise to the cold water and providing time to calm down before attempting to exit the water. The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is supporting the water safety campaigns being run by the RNLI and other organisations such as the RLSS and the Fire and Rescue Services’ Be Water Aware campaign. We do not want to discourage members of the public from enjoying the water but would like people to be choose to swim in areas that are safe. Visit Elizabeth ClementsMineral Products Association

Neighbours trade witheach other

I have heard it asked why Canada, Australia and New Zealand manage so well outside the EU.Well, it is because they are members of respective regional trade agreements. Countries do most trade with near neighbours. It’s only natural, and saves a lot on freight: just like we are members of the EU, permitting frictionless trade and benefits for all members.Those same countries also have negotiated arrangements with the EU, though not in a customs union. In fact, the EU has agreements with 60 non-member countries, which is why the UK already trades with every significant country in the world. One has to feel sorry for Canada right now as Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy is slapping tariffs on their exports.Brexiteers would have us leave the EU for more dependency on the US. Not me, thank you very much. That is another very good reason for remaining in the EU. Stop Brexit!Ken CookeAddress supplied

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

All mouth andno trousers

It appears that President Trump’s visit to Europe has overwhelmingly proved that he’s ‘all mouth and trousers’.He seems quite happy to make caustic and critical comments about others – Theresa May and European leaders – via Twitter or the media behind their backs.Yet, when actually confronting them face to face, he backs down and ends up being mealy-mouthed and conciliatory.Frankly, if I were an American citizen, I’d be thoroughly ashamed of both the man and the extensive damage he is doing to their country and reputation.Then again, if one is stupid enough to vote in a glorified builder and developer with no experience of diplomacy and respect, what do you expect?!Karl Sheridanvia email

A few phone calls would have done

What was the cost of President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK? I suspect we will never be told. Instead, a few phone calls would have achieved the same result. Eddie Peartvia email

A wonderful example

Divers in Thailand have rescued all 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave after they were trapped underground for 17 days. I believe the brave divers, one of whom lost his life, should receive the highest civilian medal award for extreme courage under the most difficult of circumstances. The world is still inhabited by brave and self-sacrificing people. A wonderful example to all of us.Philip TaylorAddress supplied