Warning over “extremely dangerous” open water swimming

Nottingham City Council is warning of the dangers of swimming in open water after hundreds of people headed to the lake at Colwick Country Park last week to cool down.

With temperatures set to soar again, the council is urging people not to be tempted to take to open water, as there are many hidden dangers. The water may look calm on the surface, but there may still be strong undercurrents that could pull even the strongest swimmers under. The water may also feel relatively warm on the surface, but just a few feet below it will be icy cold even in hot weather and can very quickly induce shock, cause severe cramp and hypothermia.

Every year around 400 people on average die in the UK from drowning, with thousands more rescued but left with permanent and life-changing injuries.

Cllr Rosemary Healy, lead councillor for parks, said: “Open water swimming can be extremely dangerous and a risk to life. If things do go wrong, there is often no-one around to help until it is too late. While there is no law against it in this country, we would strongly urge people to be sensible and avoid swimming in lakes, rivers quarries or canals.

“Our NHS and emergency services have enough on their plates as it is fighting the coronavirus pandemic and we need to protect them so they can save the lives of our loved ones. Keep you and your family safe.”

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