Water Safety Warning
They want to highlight the dangers of open water and encourage residents, whatever their age, to take care and enjoy the summer in safety.
Station Commander Grant Wills from Hereford and Worcester Fire & Rescue Service said: "Both the fire service and the police get called to many water-related incidents, particularly during spells of hot weather when people are more tempted to take a dip to cool down.
"While the water might be inviting, it's also fraught with danger and so we want make people aware of the risks so that they will think twice about going into the water, or indeed allowing their children to play unsupervised near the water's edge."
The advice from the police and the fire service is:
- Avoid swimming in rivers, lakes and canals. The water can be cold enough to cause difficulty for even the most experienced swimmers and there may be hidden depths or currents, or debris under the water that could cause injury or infection.
- Heed warning signs located near open water, and never enter the water near weirs, locks, pipes and sluices.
- Never dive or jump from bridges. You can never be sure how deep the water is, and you could easily suffer serious injury.
- Take care near river banks which can be slippery.
- Encourage your children to learn to swim and make sure they are supervised at all times near open water.
- Never swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Stay together near water so that if one person should get into difficulty, there is still someone who can call for help.
uperintendent Stephen Cullen from West Mercia Police added: "We are privileged to live and work in a beautiful part of the country with a huge area of water. However, this comes with its dangers.
"Sadly every year together with the Fire Service we end up dealing with people who come to harm through choosing to enter water without considering the risk. Tragically some people have lost their lives in such circumstances. Our appeal is for people to recognise the dangers of water and act responsibly. Our message is enjoy our waterways, but stay safely on dry land."