Warning of the hidden dangers of swimming in open water
With the high temperatures expected to continue into this weekend (July 23/24), Northamptonshire Police is urging the public not to be tempted to swim in unsafe open waters.
The warning is being issued following the death of a number of young people who have sadly drowned in England over the past few days after getting into difficulties in rivers, lakes, canals, and quarries.
Whilst the Northamptonshire Police Force Control Room has also seen an increase in the number of reports of adults and children swimming in open water at various locations across the county.
Swimmers have been spotted at the River Nene at Wadenhoe, Corby Boating Lake, Kinewell Lake at Denford, Summer Leys Nature Reserve at Wollaston, and Naseby Reservoir, however the Force is warning that all open water poses potential hidden dangers.
In addition to weeds and undergrowth which swimmers could become tangled in, there may also be other hidden hazards beneath the water surfaces such as strong currents as well as the risk of cold-water shock.
Cold-water shock forces swimmers to gasp for breath and can cause them to lose control in the water, regardless of whether they are strong swimmers or not, and increases the difficulty in getting out of the water.
If you find yourself in the water:
- Take a minute. The initial effects of cold water pass in less than a minute so don't try to swim straight away
- Relax and float on your back to catch your breath. Try to get hold of something that will help you float
- Keep calm then call for help or swim for safety if you're able
If you see someone else in the water:
- Do not go into the water to rescue them. You could get into trouble yourself
- Call 999 and ask for the fire service and be as precise as you can with the location
- Tell the struggling person to float on their back in a star shape
- Throw something that may help them float – like a branch, an inflatable ball or even a water bottle
- Download the what3words app to help give emergency services your precise location
Posted: Thu, 21 Jul 2022 09:31 by Fiona Young