CHESHIRE Fire has issued a warning urging children and young people not to take an impromptu dip in open water this summer.
Alex Waller, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s head of service delivery said: “We want people to enjoy summer – however we also want people to do it safely.
“Sadly, each year people die swimming in open water. Firefighters and other emergency services also risk their own safety to rescue people who get into difficulties on our waterways.
“Our advice is to only ever swim outdoors as part of organised open water swimming club. Don’t let a cooling dip be the last thing you ever do. Please follow our advice to stay safe this summer.”
Drowning causes more that 400 UK deaths every year and is the third highest cause of death in children.
Risks include the cold water causing a swimmers body to shut down, or the onset of cramp which can leave a person unable to continue.
Certain waterways can also have strong undercurrents or underwater debris that can prove fatal and these conditions can affect anyone, even an experienced open water swimmer.
Mark Byard, United Utilities’ head of health and safety, said: “Every year, particularly during summer, young people are often tempted to take a dip in what appear to be safe places to swim.
“Unfortunately, reservoirs and quarry lakes are far from safe. Cold water, hidden debris, and underwater currents from pipework, mean that they are extremely dangerous.”