Words & pics by Adam Smith
Mystery surrounds the bizarre near double drowning of two people in two days in Pype Hayes Park lake – despite no one reportedly being fished out the water for “more than forty years.”
Last Friday week, a man was rescued from the water by emergency services and flown by air ambulance to hospital. Then, merely 24hrs later, a woman had to be saved from the lake and was rushed to hospital on the Saturday.
Witnesses claimed the woman had stripped off by the side of the lake, then ran naked into the two metre deep water – during one of the hottest days of the year, as the park was packed with families enjoying an unexpected heatwave.
During both incidents, crowds gathered at the Erdington park to watch the incidents play out as emergency services descended en masse.
Malcolm Moore, who runs the popular Pype Hayes Park Information, News and Views Facebook page, saw the woman being taken away to hospital by an ambulance with a police escort.
He told Erdington Local: “It has been years since anyone was pulled out the pool. For two in two days was really strange, after forty years without an incident like this.
“People claimed to have seen the woman run into the water naked and there are some people who think the water should be fenced off, but I cannot see how this would be done.
“In the 1974 the body of a care worker who worked at the children’s home was found in the grounds of the park.”
Today, a woman was pulled from the pool in the park and taken to hospital in a critical condition, Multiple emergency services were at the scene @WMPolice @WestMidsFire @OFFICIALWMAS @MAA_Charity thank you!
— Pype Hayes Park (@PypeHayesPark) September 19, 2020
The police diverted the unusually large amount of resources to the park after posts on social media mistakenly claimed one of the incidents was ‘a stabbing.’
Tyburn Police Sergeant, Richard Edkins, wrote to Pype Hayes residents on Monday 21st September to explain the massive amount of police cars and vans at the park over the weekend.
He said: ‘On Friday, the police and the ambulance service were called to the lake in Pype Hayes Park to reports of a person in the lake. The person in question was dealt with by the police and the ambulance service and taken to hospital accordingly.
‘The air ambulance attended and landed in the park and the person was again taken to hospital.’
He added: ‘Police have investigated both incidents, speaking to witnesses and to family members of those involved and we are satisfied at this stage that there is no criminal element to either of the incidents and there are no suspicions of foul play. Both the people involved are being treated accordingly at hospital.
‘There is nothing to suggest a link between the two incidents other than that they both happened at the same lake area in the park.’
On Monday Sgt Edkins sent two PCSOs to Pype Hayes to ‘provide reassurance to those who frequent the park.’
He added: ‘On behalf of the police service I would like to thank all of those who called us about the incidents and those who helped the two persons involved as well as those who helped provide witness statements to help our investigation.
‘The fire and ambulance service also asked us to pass on their thanks to the members of the public and the residents that helped.’
Pype Hayes Councillor Mike Sharpe added: “The emergency services did a great job over the weekend. Two people being rescued in two days is very rare, Pype Hayes Park is really popular and a lot of people use it.”
On average 400 people drown every year in the UK and a further 200 people take their own lives in lakes, canals, and rivers.
Local contacted West Midlands Police and Good Hope Hospital for an update on the condition of the two people rescued from the lake on Thursday and Friday but both organisations refused to give an update.
For more on Pype Hayes Park, visit https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/directory_record/9143/pype_hayes_park
To join the Pype Hayes Park Information, News and Views Facebook page, visit www.facebook.com/PypeHayesPark