Various police forces across Lancashire have taken to Twitter to warn residents to keep safe this bank holiday weekend, by avoiding open water swimming.
Chorley Police said: “Don’t let the warm weather tempt you to a quick dip this bank holiday weekend. It’s just not worth it. Quarries and reservoirs are not safe places to swim. They hold many hidden dangers. You are not stronger than the water.”
Ormskirk and Rural West Lancashire Police also added: “The worst place to be when you’re in danger in water is isolated... Be aware of the deadly risks and stay out.”
Skelmersdale Police explained that these risks include unpredictable currents, cold water shock, industrial equipment, toxic chemicals, and even unsafe surfaces that can trap swimmers.
According to Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, on average 50 children drown each year in the UK.
If you do get into difficulty whilst swimming, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service advise people to float by lying on their back, and remaining as calm as possible, allowing time to breathe for longer.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue also released a list of 7 things to look out for when swimming outdoors:
1: Slippery banks – the banks on rivers and lakes can be very slippery, making it hard to exit the water.
2: Waste – unfortunately, some people dump their rubbish into our waterways. This can harm you if you touch sharp or entangling objects.
3: Pollution – some waterways contain dangerous chemicals which can hurt you.
4: Currents – underwater currents can be very strong and sweep you away from safety within seconds.
5: Cold temperatures – open water in the UK remains cold all year round. This can cause your muscles to stop working properly. It can also make you gasp for air, potentially causing you to breathe in water.
6: Water levels – the depth of open water changes drastically. This can make wading treacherous, and means you should never dive in without knowing the water’s depth.
7: No lifeguard – swimming in the great outdoors means that you may be very isolated and that nobody will be there to help if things go wrong.
If you do spot anybody in trouble in the water call 999 right away.