Water safety warning as heat wave continues

Firefighters are urging the public not to swim in lakes and reservoirs, with the current hot weather in South Yorkshire set to continue.

Safety officers say people should avoid open water- like rivers and lakes- because such areas are not designed for swimming as the water is often deeper, colder and faster than expected.

Around 400 people needlessly drown in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life changing, through near-drowning experiences. People should enjoy water safely in swimming pools or safer, specialist facilities instead.

Head of Community Safety Simon Dunker, said: “We often receive 999 calls during the summer months about people getting into difficulty in water. It’s only a matter of time before someone’s safety is really put at risk unless people listen to our advice.

“We understand it can be tempting to cool off when the weather in South Yorkshire is so hot, but stick to a swimming pool. Rivers, lakes or flooded quarries are completely unsuitable for swimming as they hide a number of hidden dangers.”

The dangers of open water are:

  • The water can be much deeper than you expect
  • Rivers, lakes, canals and reservoirs are much colder than you think, rarely reaching temperatures above 15 degrees Celsius in the UK
  • Open water can carry water borne diseases, like Weils disease
  • Cold water dramatically affects your ability to swim
  • There may be hidden currents, which can pull you under the water
  • You don’t know what lies beneath, like pieces of rubbish or reeds which can trap or injure you

This content was last updated on June 29th, 2018