Video captures moment 'reckless' swimmer gets dangerously close to cargo ship by Portsmouth Harbour

PEOPLE are being warned of the dangers of swimming near shipping channels after video footage has emerged showing a swimmer dangerously close to a cargo ship.

By Kimberley Barber
Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 12:52 pm

The swimmer was in the water off the shore at the Hot Walls, in Old Portsmouth, on Monday afternoon when cargo ship Baltic Spirit passed near to them.

People could be heard cheering them on.

The moment was captured on film by local business owner Mark Smith, who ‘could not believe the stupidity’.

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Swimmer dangerously near cargo ship in Portsmouth waters on July 19, 2021

He said: ‘You should not swim anywhere near the harbour entrance. It’s a very busy shipping lane with incredibly strong and unpredictable currents. It is very dangerous.’

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Portsmouth harbourmaster Ben McInnes also reinforced the same message.

He said that people should be especially careful in that area due to the currents.

Marco De Araujo, of Grafton Street, died in 2012 after he entered the water at Old Portsmouth to assist two youngsters. The youngsters survived but heroic Mr De Araujo was swept away and died.

Mr McInnes said that Mr De Araujo was just one example of people who had got into trouble on the stretch over the years.

He said: ‘It is important to remember that there are extremely dangerous currents and tides around the harbour entrance, not to mention how dangerous the ships are with their propellers and tugs.

‘There are harbour patrols and the police but it’s important not to encourage anyone to go out there on their own.

‘If you want to swim, then do so safely by sticking close to the shore. You should never go near to the shipping channel. It is reckless as you could be putting yourself - and other people – at risk.

‘Think about your own safety and value your life.'