‘Don’t swim in South Yorkshire reservoirs’ warning

Ulley Country Park
Ulley Country Park
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Youngsters in Rotherham are being warned again not to risk their lives by swimming in local reservoirs during the current heatwave.

Countryside officers have reported an increase in the number of people swimming in open water at sites such as Ulley and Thrybergh Country Parks.

Countryside manager Kevin Burke said: “I am really concerned that people are putting themselves in danger.

“The combination of extremely cold water, dangerous currents and often alcohol can mean people are very quickly in trouble. We appreciate how tempting the water might appear in this kind of weather, but these stretches of open water are not designed for safe swimming.

“They are very cold and very dangerous – and anyone who does decide to cool off in this way is putting their life at risk.”

Councillor Mahroof Hussain, Rotherham Council cabinet member, said he was ‘extremely concerned’ to hear about the increase in people swimming unprepared and unsupervised in open water such as reservoirs.

“These people are risking their lives. No-one should ever be tempted to cool off or swim in the nearest lake, river or canal. It is simply not worth it,” he said.

“Stretches of open water, such as at the borough’s three country parks for example, are just not suitable for being used in this way.”

Local emergency services and Yorkshire Water have also issued similar warnings.

In June, a 38-year-old Huddersfield man died after swimming in Snailsden reservoir near Holmfirth – the latest in a series of deaths at the company’s sites.

Vince Larvin, locality director of emergency operations at Yorkshire Ambulance NHS Trust, said: “It may be very appealing to jump into the reservoir to cool off on a warm summer’s day but people need to be aware of how dangerous this really is. Lives have already been lost this year and we don’t want to see anyone else hurt or injured.”