Safety review launched at Hampstead Heath ponds after death of Sussie Ahlburg

12:07 15 August 2013

Safety review launched at Hampstead Heath ponds and lido after Sussie Ahlburgs death. Picture: Isabelle Busnel

Safety review launched at Hampstead Heath ponds and lido after Sussie Ahlburgs death. Picture: Isabelle Busnel

Archant

The safety of all swimming facilities on Hampstead Heath is to be reviewed following the death of photographer Sussie Ahlburg.

Kenwood Ladies' Bathing Pond was closed following the death of Sussie Ahlburg. Picture: Polly HancockKenwood Ladies' Bathing Pond was closed following the death of Sussie Ahlburg. Picture: Polly Hancock

The City of London Corporation, which runs the Heath, confirmed this week that an independent risk assessor has been commissioned to look at all three bathing ponds and the Parliament Hill Lido.

A corporation spokesman said that it was “important for any service provider to review its operation” after such a serious 
incident.

He added that an annual audit had been carried out in June by a swimming safety expert, who found the ponds and lido “well managed and safe”.

Heath staff are also working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as the government agency considers whether to launch a probe into the tragic death of Ms Ahlburg, 50.

An HSE spokesman said: “We are making initial inquiries alongside the police and then we will consider launching a formal investigation.”

The Kenwood Ladies’ Bathing Pond reopened on Saturday morning after being closed to the public for five days to aid police inquiries and out of respect, after the mother-of-two’s body was found by police divers last Monday.

Catherine Cinnamon, of the Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association, described the mood this week at the much-loved swimming spot as thoughtful and reflective.

She said: “The atmosphere is very respectful and mindful of what’s happened. There was a very thoughtful and reflective mood.

“I think that Sussie really enjoyed and loved swimming there and that’s what the place was all about – it’s a very peaceful, reflective space for women.”

She added that the association would seek to speak to Heath bosses and Ms Ahlburg’s family about the possibility of some kind of memorial being created.

The death remains a mystery after a post-mortem proved inconclusive. Police are awaiting the results of further tests, while an inquest was opened and adjourned at St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Monday.

Ms Ahlburg, of Holborn, was a successful photographer whose work had featured in publications including Vogue, The Wall Street Journal and the Ham&High.

She was reported missing by her family after failing to return home on Sunday, August 4.

Her death was the first at the Heath’s ponds in at least a decade.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
The inicdent took place near Station Road and Ranelagh Road in Harlesden (Photo: Google StreetView)

Police have arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of murder after a fatal stabbing in Harlesden last night.

Monday, June 29, 2015
The trial continues at the Old Bailey

A woman accused of killing a suspected paedophile has denied stabbing him but admitted to “poking” him with a knife following a confrontation, a court heard today.

Monday, June 29, 2015
Protesters at an earlier anti-austerity demo in Berlin in March (Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Owen Jones, Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn and Green MP Caroline Lucas are all at a rally in Trafalgar Square to show solidarity with Greece this evening.

Monday, June 29, 2015
Police want to speak to this man about the schoolgirl's 'frightening' ordeal (Photo: BTP)

Police are hunting a pervert who groped a 15-year-old girl on her way to school - and even followed her when she changed lines.

Monday, June 29, 2015

South Kensington Tube station was evacuated and a police cordon put up this afternoon due to a ‘security alert’.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more
£100 worth of pet goodies up for grabs!

Animal lovers rejoice! It’s time to treat your pooch or spoil your kitty with a hamper worth £100 from Feedem.

Read more