Public urged to stay safe in the water in the unseasonable heat

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is urging the public to stay safe in Cumbria’s waters as the weather heats up.

Following a rainy summer, a heatwave has hit the county. Despite schools being back in session, many residents will be heading to the Lakes and rivers to cool off. However, the water can be dangerous when safety is not taken seriously. Keep yourself safe by following simple tips, such as:

  • If you are spending time near the water and fall in, don’t panic. Turn to float on your back, then call out for help or, if possible, swim to safety.
  • Do not enter the water if you have consumed alcohol and avoid walking on routes that are near water to prevent falling in.
  • Never enter the water to try and help another person or animal – call 999 and use any rescue equipment if it is available.
  • Read up on the local safety information – every body of water is different and may pose different risks.
  • Ensure children are always actively supervised.
  • Wear well fitted buoyancy aids if you are canoeing or paddleboarding or a swim buoy for wild swimming.

Cumbria’s Fire and Rescue Service’s Area Manager, Ian Seel, said:

“We want the public to be able to enjoy the water safely, especially in the warmer weather. However, being in the water can pose risks.

“This weather is unseasonably warm as we normally see temperatures drop as we head into autumn.

“I would urge the public to remember that warm weather does not mean warm water. Plunging into cold water can cause cold water shock which can be fatal. I want to encourage the public not to enter the water, however if you do, please be extremely careful, recreational activities on the water can go wrong very quickly.

“By highlighting the risks about bodies of water and educating the public, we hope that everyone can enjoy the Lakes and rivers in a safe manner.

“If you see someone in trouble in the water, please call 999 for the Fire and Rescue Service or Coastguard for incidents at sea.”

Cumbria’s Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Mike Johnson, said:

“Enjoying the lakes and rivers in Cumbria during the hot weather is one of the many perks of living in the county – especially when the weather is warm at this time of year as we want to make the most of it.

“However, being complacent in the water can lead to danger, and in worst case scenarios, fatalities.

“We, of course, want everyone to enjoy the lakes and rivers sensibly and CFRS are always going to provide support to those in need of help, but we all need to pay attention when in the water and understand when to avoid it.

“I would encourage the public to think about the risks they are taking when entering the water and proceed with caution so that we can all enjoy ourselves and get home safely.”

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