CUMBRIA Fire and Rescue have issued a warning as the hot weather leading to more people taking up outdoor swimming in the region.

There have been a number of incidents in recent weeks relating to lone swimmers getting into trouble in the sea and in lakes across Cumbria.

A recent example was on July 17 when Furness Coastguard were paged over concerns for a lone swimmer last seen in the water at Biggar bank on Walney Island.

So Cumbria Fire and Rescue is asking the people of Cumbria to 'Be Water Aware' in and around our lakes and rivers throughout the summer holidays.

Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in the UK and together with our partner agencies, we’re committed to ensuring everyone in Cumbria is equipped with the information they need to stay safe around water.

Will Richardson, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Group Manager, Head of Community Safety said: “The recent months have presented considerable and tragic incidents at our waters throughout Cumbria. We urge the public to understand the dangers which our waters can present, to learn the importance of knowing how to float to live, and to call 999 if others are in trouble if there is a water related emergency.

“Prevention is always better than cure. We want people to enjoy the water safely and we are fully committed to preventing drowning incidents from happening in the first place. To do this, more education is needed, so that people fully understand the risks and are better prepared.”

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Water Safety Advice:

• If you are spending time near water, make sure you know what to do if you happened to fall in. The advice is not to panic, float on your back and then either call for help or swim to safety.

• If you've consumed alcohol, do not enter the water, and avoid walking routes near water.

• Never enter the water to try and help a person or animal - always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available.

• If you are spending time near water whether at home or abroad, make sure you are familiar with local safety information and that children are always fully and actively supervised.