A YOUNG man spotted playing about in floodwater on a small foam bodyboard has been called "mad or stupid" and criticised by a drowning prevention charity.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) warned that floodwater on roads and paths could be deeper and more powerful than it looked and people could easily fall or be knocked over.

Paul Probert said even his five-year-old son called it a "silly" thing to do after they came across the man wearing red swim shorts with a foam surfboard in floodwater outside Rivers Leisure Centre, Briar Mill, Droitwich.

Around 37mm of water fell in less than 24 hours on Wednesday causing flash flooding across the county.

RLSS UK urged people not to put their lives at risk and steer clear from floodwater wherever possible after the man was seen in Droitwich on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Probert, aged 26, said: "You never know what's in the water.

"He must be mad or stupid.

"I had my five-year-old son with me, an older couple were also there. Even my son said he was silly.

"Yes, it's an unsafe thing to do but when you're a kid you don't think about that sort of thing.

"There was a small group of them possibly encouraging him on."

Mike Dunn, RLSS UK’s acting director for volunteers and community education, said: “Unfortunately, we tend to see pictures such as this one in the media during times of flooding or extreme weather.

“We cannot stress enough the dangers of floodwater – dangers people should not underestimate.

"The conditions we have seen over the past couple of days pose a significant risk of drowning if floodwater is entered.

"Floodwater on roads and paths can be deeper and more powerful than it looks and people can easily fall or be knocked over.

"It is also unclear when walking in murky floodwater what lies beneath, there could be all kinds of hazards such as open drains, sewage, and chemicals washed from cars and buildings.

“Please stay safe from the risk of drowning and serious infection.

"Avoid flood water if possible, wash thoroughly with soap and warm water if contact is unavoidable, and do not allow children to play in or around flooded areas.”

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service were called to 10 rescues on Wednesday after drivers became stranded in their cars in fords or flooded roads after the county experienced the greatest rainfall it has had this year.

For more advice and tips on flooding, log on to rlss.org.uk/water-safety/water-safety/water-safety-in-a-flood/

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