Posted on Monday 7th June 2021
Even on hot days, the temperature in large bodies of water usually stays around two degrees Celsius.
As the sun continues to shine, people enjoying the outdoors are 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.
Victoria Wilson, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Communities and Culture, said:
Now that everyone is out and about again and the weather is getting hotter 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.
Not 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.
For instance, at Chasewater where swimming is not allowed, the floor of the reservoir shelves deeply and suddenly in places, while there is an undertow towards the pipe network carrying water away.
Victoria Wilson added:
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.”