Warwickshire's firefighters spell out dangers of swimming in open water with temperatures on the rise - The Rugby Observer

Warwickshire's firefighters spell out dangers of swimming in open water with temperatures on the rise

Rugby Editorial 26th May, 2023   0

THE DANGERS of open water have been underlined by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) with temperatures set to rise over the Bank Holiday weekend.

WFRS is warning people to stay safe after six people drowned in open water in the UK last week.

Firefighters are urging people to understand the dangers of swimming in lakes and quarries where unseen hazards can endanger even the strongest swimmers, and cold water shock can occur even on a warm day.

WFRS is also reminding people of the three steps to take should they see someone in trouble in the water – call 999, tell the struggling person to try to float on their back, and throw them something that floats.

Coun Andy Crump, Warwickshire County Council’s community safety and fire spokesman, said: “It’s vital that people know how to stay safe around open water and respect the hidden dangers it poses.

“We know that as temperatures start to rise, swimming in open water can be a real attraction, but the even on a warm day the temperature in open water can remain very cold, causing cold water shock – a physical reaction which can make it difficult to control breathing, cause panic and make it difficult to swim.

“Our advice to anyone considering going into the water is to be water aware and ensure that you know how to keep you and those around you safe. If you are out with friends and you do decide to swim don’t drink alcohol, as this will inhibit your ability and perception of risk and will leave you unable to deal with the shock of cold water.

“If you see someone else get into trouble in the water, remember ‘Call, Tell, Throw’. Don’t attempt to enter the water yourself – call 999 and ask for the fire service. If you do fall in, don’t struggle, stay calm and try to float on your back or gently tread water. Staying calm can be the difference between life and death.”

In 2021, 277 people in the UK died from drowning in inland and coastal locations – 40 per cent of whom slipped, tripped or fell into the water.

Visit www.rnli.org/safety/respect-the-water for more information on how to stay safe near water.


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