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Water safety warning

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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 Community Safety at 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 euln 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.

Chief Inspector Adam Thomas from West Mercia Police added: "It's easy to understand how inviting it might be to take a dip in a river or quarry pool during the warmer weather.

"However, swimming in unauthorised, unsupervised stretches of water is extremely dangerous and could even prove deadly. Our firm advice is 'Do not be tempted' – but stick to local swimming pools and supervised swimming spots instead."