A swimming pool has banned floats saying they are a health hazard to children, reports The Telegraph.
Harpers, a private company that runs leisure centres on behalf of local authorities, said floats could only be used during paid-for lessons under close supervision. The new rules were implemented after an alleged choking incident with a child.
Staff were informed of the new policy, but locals claim they weren’t told. Non-swimmer Sarah Swain, 31, took a trip to Loddon Valley Leisure Centre to make use of the pool, but found there were no swimming aids in or around the pool.
"It was then that I saw a load stacked up in a cupboard. The door was ajar so I went to get one only to be stopped by the lifeguard,” said Sarah.
The lifeguard apologised but informed Sarah of the new health and safety rules and said she couldn’t use one as a child had choked on one.
"It is embarrassing enough to have to admit you can't swim when you're 31 but to be told you can't have a float for health and safety reasons is plain barmy,” said Sarah.
"What are they going to do next? Ban the pools from having water in them in case someone drowns. It is ludicrous,” Sarah added.
"At Loddon Valley we do not generally distribute floats or swimming aids during public swimming sessions as we would prefer those less confident in the water do not go into the deeper water," said a spokesperson at Harpers.
"However, floats are available for swimmers during lessons and Swim School,” added the spokesperson.