DANGERS about swimming in open water are being stressed following the recent extreme hot weather.

The warnings also come after 12 water-related fatalities in the last four days across the country.

The fatalities include the tragic death of two young men this week, involving the River Weaver and Crosby Beach.

North West Ambulance Service said on Twitter: ‘‘Please stay out of the water, it really isn’t worth the risk of your life.

‘‘We know it can also be distressing for bystanders to see somebody getting in trouble in open water.’’

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s campaign, Float to Live, gives life-saving advice should you find yourself in trouble:

• F – fight your instinct to panic or swim hard.

• L – lean back in the water to keep your airway clear.

• O – open your body up pushing your stomach up.

• A – actions: gently move hands and feet to keep afloat.

• T – time: in 60-90 seconds you’ll be able to adjust and control your breathing.

The Jack Pullen Foundation, in memory of a young man who lost his life in a river accident, has also issued advice to bystanders that could help save a life:

• W – watch the person in the water to keep an eye on their location.

• A – ask someone to call 999.

• T – throw a life ring or flotation device if you can.

• E – encourage the person to float and gently move their legs and hands to stay afloat.

• R – Resist entering the water yourself as you may get in danger too.

The extreme heat is set to cool off at the weekend with cloudy weather changing to sunny intervals by lunchtime on Saturday.