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Home » News & Events » 2019 » May » Cold water shock kills - stay out of open water

Cold water shock kills - stay out of open water

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Before the Bank Holiday weekend and the half-term holiday, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is warning people about the risks of 'cold water shock' from jumping or falling into open water.

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On a spring day, rivers and lakes can look inviting, but the water can be extremely cold just under the surface and cause heart attacks even in relatively young and healthy people. Any water below 15 degrees centigrade can seriously affect breathing and movement, so the risk is still great at this time of the year.

Stewart Dewar, Station Commander of Malvern Fire Station said: "We have some beautiful rivers, canals, and lakes in our two counties, but the risk of cold water shock is too great at this time of the year to consider swimming.

"In particular, we are working closely with West Mercia Police and the Malvern Hills Trust to discourage people from attempting to swim in Gullet Quarry, near Castle Morton, in which eight people have died in recent years. Anyone caught within the boundary of the quarry will be breaching local bye-laws and are at risk of police action.

"We also ask people to take care at night after visiting the river and canal side pubs and bars – organise a lift home, or walk with a friend, but don't walk home alone near open water.

"Be water aware - enjoy being around the rivers, canals, and lakes, but don't end up in them on a day or a night out."

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