Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Patrols to stop kayakers at dam


Amateur video of the high dam kayaking

Kayakers are continuing to use a Carmarthenshire dam to practice their extreme sport, despite the introduction of extra security patrols.

The patrols are to discourage the kayakers making the 300ft (91m) drop down the spillway at Llyn Brianne reservoir.

It followed a group of kayakers being filmed making the dangerous descent.

Welsh Water said more kayakers turned up at the reservoir at the weekend, despite the practice being banned.

When the spillway kayaking first came to light last week, the company condemned it as extremely dangerous and warned it would take action against anyone in breach of the restriction.

Since then, as well as extra security patrols at the dam on the Powys and Ceredigion borders, the company has also reduced the volume of water running down the spillway - making it unsuitable for kayaking.

'No incidents'

Sally Gronow, head of communications at Welsh Water, said security officers turned away three groups who planned to use the waterway for kayaking.

She said: "Despite the recent warnings about the dangers of kayaking at Llyn Brianne, we still had a number of people turning up at the reservoir site over the weekend intending to kayak down the spillway.

"However, with our extra patrols and water reduction on the spillway, we were able to prevent any incidents.

"As our efforts to dissuade people from getting onto the spillway are having effect, we are going to continue with them."

Llyn Brianne was completed in 1972 and supplies drinking water to a large part of south Wales.

The reservoir is up to 272 ft (83m) deep and holds more than 13 billion gallons (60 billion litres) of water.

Richard Harvey of the Welsh Canoeing Association previously said he was aware the spillway had been used by kayakers for about 20 years.

'Legal restrictions'

"We encourage people to paddle responsibly and in the realm of the law," he added.

"It's very important that kayaking is done at no risk to other people or the environment and that a detailed risk assessment is made before taking to the water.

"Enthusiasts also have to be aware of the law and the possible legal restrictions relating to a particular stretch of water.

"If they go too far we do not condone it."

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