Council hold minute’s silence in tribute to teenager Alfie McCraw and warn of dangers of open water swimming

Councillors in Wakefield held a minute’s silence to remember teenager Alfie McCraw as they warned against the dangers of open water swimming.

By Tony Gardner
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 2:40 pm

Tributes were paid to the 16-year-old at a full Council meeting on Wednesday.

Alfie died after getting into the Aire and Calder Navigation in Wakefield on Monday July 11.

Police were called to a report concerning the safety of a youngster near to the Southern Washlands.

Tributes were paid to 16-year-old Alfie McCrawat at a Wakefield Council meeting.

Emergency services attended and following a search of the water recovered the body of the teen.

Akef Akbar, Independent councillor for Wakefield East, told the meeting: “This young man was called Alfie. He was a student at City Fields School, which is in my ward.

“He sadly lost his life just after completing his GCSEs.

“It is a massive loss to the whole community.

Broad Reach Lock, where Alfie lost his life.

“Of course, he was just looking to have some fun, getting in the water while it was hot.

“Unfortunately, the hidden dangers of the water have taken his life.”

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Coun Akbar said he attended a gathering at Eastmoor rugby field held in the youngster’s memory.

He added: “Hundreds of people attended and hundreds of balloons were sent into the sky in his memory.”

Coun Akbar asked Wakefield Mayor David Jones: “I would like you to consider a moment’s silence just to remember this young man.”

Council Leader Denise Jeffery said:”We have got children and young people still swimming in canals, reservoirs and rivers.

“We have already had one death and there have been others across the country.

“I just appeal, if anybody can take this on board, to parents, grandparents, carers – just keep your children out of the water.

“It is life changing. If you can imagine the poor families who have lost loved ones through this, just from a moment’s madness trying to cool off.”

Elizabeth Rhodes, Labour councillor for Wakefield North, said: “This young man was in my ward. Very tragically, he had his life before him.

“The whole community, his whole family, obviously, are devastated by it.

“We have to keep reiterating the message, wherever we can through our local communities, of the dangers.”