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15 people have died in quarry lakes in Wales over the last two years.
A new campaign has been launched, ahead of the summer holidays, to warn people of the dangers of open water swimming in quarry lakes, reservoirs and canals.
Within 3 minutes of going into cold water, our blood flow is restricted and bodies go into shock.
Michael Dunn is Acting Director of Volunteers and Education at the Royal Life Saving Society UK:
“The signs of Cold Water Shock are hyperventilation, gasping for breath and being out of control.
“If you go under the water at that point, you can start to choke and drown very quickly.
“It doesn’t matter how good a swimmer you are, it’s biology.
“As soon as your muscles cool down, you can’t swim as well and your arms and legs don’t work properly.”
However, despite warning signs and fences to keep people out, hot weather tempts groups to jump in.
Nicola Bartholomey is a quarry Manager in south Wales:
“It feels like a ticking time bomb.
“It’s sleepless nights through the summer; I dread warm weather on bank holidays and through the summer holidays.
“I know there’s security on site, but you still worry about them getting to the water quick enough if they need to save somebody.”
Cold Water Shock can set in at 15c, well above temperatures in many quarry lakes.