Public warned not to swim in open water during the heatwave after 3 people drown
26 July 2019, 16:03
On Wednesday alone, three people died in the UK after swimming in open water.
The UK was hit with a heatwave this week, with temperatures rising to a sweltering 38.1C in certain areas.
And while some might be tempted to cool off by having a dip, the public have been strongly advised against it, as three people drowned on Wednesday alone.
According to the National Water Safety Forum, 34 people died while swimming in open waters last year.
Earlier this week, three people went missing in the Thames and one swimmer was pulled from a lake in the Cotswold Water Park in Gloucestershire.
Of the 263 drownings that took place in the UK in 2018, 74 were in rivers.
While it's impossible to prevent people from swimming in open water, there are certain precautions that should be taken if you are going to do so.
The Royal Life Saving Society advises:
- Swim at supervised or lifeguarded sites
- Swim parallel to the shore
- Swim with friends or family
- Look for signs and advice about specific dangers in the location
- Plan what you would do if something went wrong
Claire Huggins of the Royal Life Saving Society said: "Everyone is susceptible. It can be deadly even to the strongest swimmers, you can still be caught out.
"The natural reaction when immersed in cold water is to gasp, and if you do that in water where you are out of your depth you can see how that can bring on panic.
"All of a sudden that scenario can become very serious and potentially life-threatening."