Plea to avoid water deaths

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Ambulance chiefs are warning people in South Yorkshire not to cool off in reservoirs, rivers, canals and lakes to avoid tragedies in hot summer weather.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service says it is called to emergencies across the region annually where swimmers have got into difficulty while taking a dip in open water.

Vince Larvin, the trust’s director of emergency operations, said several fatal drownings have happened so far this year elsewhere in the UK.

“It may be very appealing to jump into the water to cool off but people need to be aware of how dangerous this really is,” said Mr Larvin.

“Water can look calm on the surface but contain unseen debris and rivers in particular can have treacherous undercurrents.

“Furthermore, the temperature of deep water is much colder than people would expect and, even on a hot summer’s day, rarely gets above freezing.

“The temperature is cold enough to take your breath away, possibly leading to panic and drowning.”

He added: “Lives have already been lost this year across the UK and we don’t want to see anyone else hurt or injured.”