Fire service issues water safety advice
With temperatures set to rise this week, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is warning members of the public to be extra careful around rivers, quarries and lakes in the area and recognise the dangers of entering open water.
Drowning in the UK is one of the leading causes of accidental death and each year more than 300 people drown after tripping, falling or just by underestimating the risks associated with being near water.
Group Commander Mick Cadman said: "Although the water might be inviting in this hot weather, it also very dangerous. Even strong swimmers can find themselves in difficulty as the water can cause a cold-shock response. This can cause your heart rate to behave abnormally, resulting in sudden death. It can also cause your muscles to cramp and your body to shiver, which can lead to drowning.
"HWFRS responds to many water-related incidents, particularly in the warmer weather when more people are tempted to take a dip to cool down. Unfortunately, there have been incidents where people have lost their lives in these circumstances. We strongly encourage people to think twice before entering open water and recognise the dangers involved."
HWFRS urges people to take note of the following advice:
- If you are going for a walk or run near water stick to proper pathways and stay clear of the water's edge
- Make sure conditions are safe, avoid walking or running near water in the dark, slippery or in bad weather
- If you've had alcohol don't enter the water, avoid walking alone and avoid routes near water
- Never enter the water to try and help a person or animal - always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available
- If you are spending time near water - whether at home or abroad make sure you are familiar with local safety information