Yorkshire Water issues reservoir swimming warning during Drowning Prevention Week

Yorkshire Water has issued a warning on the dangers of swimming in reservoirs during Drowning Prevention Week.

Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 12:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 3:24 pm

The authority has teamed up with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to remind residents of the dangers of open water swimming, as part of the seventh annual Drowning Prevention Week.

Drowning Prevention Week runs from 12-19 June and is spearheaded by RLSS (Royal Life Saving Society UK). The awareness week aims to encourage people to enjoy water safely and learn how to #BeALifesaver.

Yorkshire Water has signs at all 120 of its reservoirs that ask people not to swim - but sadly some people have chosen to ignore the warnings, and there have been a number of dangerous incidents already this summer.

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People have been warned to stay away from reservoirs.

Alastair Harvey, of Yorkshire Water, reminds those tempted to swim in reservoirs that “whilst reservoirs may look tempting in warm weather, they are not safe and pose huge risk which could lead to loss of life.”

Alastair continued: “Temperatures are often as low at 12ºC, which can result in cold water shock leading to hyperventilation, increased blood pressure, breathing difficulties and heart attacks.

“Some are also as deep as 50m and have underwater currents generated by pipework, so whilst the surface may look calm, there is invisible danger.”

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service also issued a statement to remind people about water safety. Station Manager Tom Hirst, one of the service’s water safety leads, said: “We’ve had several drownings across Yorkshire in recent years and each one is a complete tragedy.

“We want people to enjoy the warmer months and our amazing countryside, but jumping into bodies of open water, such as quarries, lakes and reservoirs, isn’t the way to do that.

“Even when the sun is out the water can be so cold. You have no idea what lies underneath, and hidden currents can overcome even the strongest of swimmers.

“We don’t want any more water related fatalities.

“It’s also worth pointing out that a lot of the people who get in bother don’t intend to enter the water at all. So, if you are near rivers or lakes, please be extra careful and don’t get too close.”