Woman left fighting for her life after swimming in sewage-filled waters – The Independent

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Caitlin Edwards, 22, contracted E.coli after swimming near Amroth Beach last summer
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Caitlin Edwards and her mother, Jayne Etherington
A woman was left fighting for her life after swimming in sewage-filled waters off the Pembrokeshire coast.
Caitlin Edwards, 22, contracted E.coli after swimming near Amroth Beach last summer and was diagnosed with haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a rare kidney condition that affects blood clotting.
Her mother, Jayne Etherington, told Wales Online it was “absolutely horrendous” to watch her daughter battle the condition for five months.
According to reports at the time, Storm sewage was discharged at four Welsh beaches.
A Welsh Water spokesman said the spill was from a private source and was not related to Welsh Water, and signs were placed on the beach at the time to warn people not to swim.
The warnings were put up because the council were “acting on information received regarding a pollution incident from Natural Resources Wales”.
Both Pembrokeshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said they were investigating the incident.
Ms Etherington said she and her daughter were not aware of the spill and expressed anger that untreated sewage could have entered the sea at Wiseman’s Bridge just a few hundred metres from Amroth Beach, on August 24 last year.
“We were allowed to believe it was a CSO [combined sewer overflow] spill,” said Ms Etherington. “No one said: ‘This is something more serious.’”
The pair said they decided to swim in the sea at the beach after making a pact they would swim together every day before Ms Edwards headed back to university.
After returning to London to stay with her boyfriend the 22-year-old began to experience severe stomach cramps and diarrhoea before checking herself into hospital five days later where she was diagnosed with E. coli and HUS.
Ms Etherington said her daughter went from being “healthy” and “vibrant to “looking like she was going to die.”
“We didn’t know she wasn’t. It was horrendous,” she said.
Nicola Mills, the environment team leader for NRW, said the investigation into the spill found “the effluent discharge was due to a private discharge point failure.”
She added: “The owners of the private discharge point acted immediately to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Our officers have visited the area since and there have been no further concerns witnessed or reported.
“Around the same time there was also an ongoing CSO discharge, therefore it was not possible to pinpoint sole responsibility for the failure of bathing water sampling at Wiseman’s Bridge.”
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Caitlin Edwards and her mother, Jayne Etherington
Wales Online
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Originally posted 2023-09-09 07:00:04. Republished by Blog Post Promoter