Stay safe from hidden dangers by ignoring temptation to cool off

With the promise of Mediterranean temperatures later this week, people are being urged not to cool off by swimming unsupervised in open water.

Even the strongest swimmers can find themselves at risk from the sudden change between air and water temperature and hidden hazards beneath the surface.

The current forecast is for temperatures to touch 28OC on Friday (17th) before falling back at the weekend and it is essential people don’t ignore common sense in the summer sun.

Victoria Wilson, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Communities and Culture, said: “I understand people wanting to cool off by going for a swim, but plunging into open water is completely different to swimming in a safe, controlled pool and can be very dangerous, even for experienced swimmers.

“No matter how warm the day, large bodies of water stay very cold, with temperatures around 2O Celsius, and that can cause cold water shock, which can lead to a sudden loss of consciousness.”

Swimmers in lakes and reservoirs are also at risk from becoming entangled in underwater weeds and dumped rubbish or being caught out by unseen currents and other dangers, such as sudden increases in depth.

Victoria Wilson added: “These accidents often happen when people are relaxed, happy and having a good time and the idea of it being dangerous isn’t really in their minds.

“We would urge people to use common sense: no matter how appealing a stretch of water looks ‘no swimming’ signs are there for a reason, please stay safe.”

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