OFFICIALS are warning against the dangers of swimming in lakes, rivers and reservoirs during the hot weather.
The warning comes as part of Drowning Prevention Week – a scheme run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK.
Running from June 21 to June 29, the idea is to promote water safety and help reduce incidents of drowning.
Supporting the campaign,. Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is calling on people in the county to 'think, not sink.'
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They say an outdoor dip might seem tempting in the hot weather but going into the water could be a fatal mistake.
Rivers, lakes and reservoirs can hold a whole host of hidden dangers from uneven depths and sudden decreases in temperature to unseen objects and currents, said officials.
Just last summer, firefighters were called to Coniston Water when a 21-year-old man from Essex died after getting into difficulties while swimming.
Advice for staying safe from outdoor water dangers includes: - The safest place to swim is in a supervised swimming pool.
- Warn children of the risks, and know where they are when they are out playing.
- Act responsibly near water and never swim after drinking alcohol.
- Always pay attention to safety signs.
- Never go swimming alone.
- Remember that lakes and rivers remain cold all year round. Warm shallow areas just a few meters from the shore can be misleading about the temperatures further out.
Cumbria’s Chief Fire Officer, Ian Cartwright, said: “Cooling off by going for an outdoor swim might seem appealing but it can easily have tragic consequences.
“Rivers, lakes and reservoirs are full of hidden dangers and even strong, experienced swimmers can get quickly get into difficulties.
“With so many lakes, rivers and reservoirs in the county it’s especially important that people in Cumbria recognise the dangers.
“If people are going to swim outdoors they need to be extremely cautious and be fully aware of the risks they’re taking.”
Below are links to short films produced by United Utilities highlighting the dangers of swimming in reservoirs.
Not a Game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i27iGYgYBqc
A Cold That Can Kill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGVT7Ong4xo
Dylan’s Story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnsv-z3Yxe4&feature=youtu.be