Crookes Valley Park drowning: Flowers and candles left in tribute at lakeside

Flowers and candles have been placed in tribute beside the Sheffield lake where a man tragically drowned.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 12:39 pm

The tributes had been placed anonymously at the water’s edge at Crookes Valley Park, bearing no message.

The lit candles burned inside a glass placed on the wall near a small jetty close to the path up to the Dam House pub. Beside the glass a a box of candles had been left, allowing for more to be lit when the current one was burned out.

Also placed on the grass next to the candles were bunches of flowers.

Candles in tribute to the man who died in Crookes Valley Lake by the side of the water

Elsewhere in the park, another tribute appeared to have been left under a tree at the corner of the lake near the children’s play area, in the form of a single bunch of flowers.

None of the groups sitting close to the candles knew where they had come from.

Kamal Sangha, who runs the Dam House pub and restaurant near the lake, said he thought the tributes had appeared yesterday, and described them as a caring gesture by someone.

People were again swimming in the water at the lake today, two days after the tragedy, despite an appeal by Sheffield Council parks bosses to stay out of the water after the tragedy.

Emergency services were called to the park at around 7.31pm on Sunday after receiving calls that a man had got into difficulty in the water. An underwater search team discovered a body just before midnight.

Bathers were reportedly using lifebuoys as swimming aids in the lake just hours before the man, aged in his 20s, tragically drowned there.

No name has been released of the man who died and no date has yet been set for the opening of an inquest into the death.

It was not the first death in the lake, which was used as a boating lake for many years.

Flowers in tribute to the man who died in Crookes Valley Lake by the side of the water

Lewis Rose, aged 53, of Commonside, died on the way to hospital after jumping into the water there in 2010.

He was rescued by two police officers and a passer-by but he died on the way to hospital on June 11. He was almost five times over the drink-drive limit.

At the time, Sheffield Council parks manager David Hargate said after the drowning the council had installed extra signs, replaced a stolen life-ring and installed two more, although assistant coroner Judith Naylor said she did not think a life ring would have helped on that occasion. She recorded a verdict of accidental death, and condemned the fact that one had been taken away.

And in 1976, 15-year-old Beverley Wall, from Broomhall drowned in the same lake despite efforts to save her by others, whose efforts to find her were hampered by the murky water. She had climbed out of a boat into the water, when rowing boats were still available for hire on the lake, which is 30ft deep in places

Candles and flowers in tribute to the man who died in Crookes Valley Lake by the side of the water

Her body was later recovered by police divers.

Nationally, 400 people drown each year, says the Canal & River Trust.

Flowers in tribute to the man who died in Crookes Valley Lake by the side of the water