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Sunday September 23rd 2018

Warning about the dangers of swimming in open water

Following the death of a man in a lake in Nutfield on Monday 25 June, Surrey Police and Surrey Fire & Rescue are reminding people of the dangers of swimming in open water.

While the water may look safe, it can hide hidden currents, hazardous objects, pollution and cold water shock, which affects our ability to swim and reach safety if experiencing difficulties. It can also be difficult to gauge water depth – you could find yourself in unexpectedly deep water or injure yourself jumping into shallow water.

To stay safe:

  • Only enter water where there is adequate supervision and rescue cover.
  • Don’t swim near weirs, locks, pipes and sluices.
  • Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold.
  • Wear recommended safety equipment such as life jackets and helmets.
  • Don’t jump or dive into open water when you are unsure of the depth and any submerged hazards.
  • Never swim after drinking alcohol.
  • If you see someone in difficulty, dial 999 straightaway.
  • Throw something that will float to them. You may be able to lie down for safety and reach out to them with a stick, pole or item of clothing, but this should only be attempted if safe to do so without endangering yourself.