Yet another warning has been issued by Yorkshire Water. The public has been urged not to swim in Yorkshire’s reservoirs. As you can probably imagine, this is not an easy message to get across to visitors, especially when the weather has been so kind to us in Britain this summer. A dip in some cold water might seem appealing to a group of friends in this heat.
Beaches and reservoirs are prime positions in this heat, and with the current heat wave forecast being predicted to stay for at least another week, Yorkshire Water has had to join forces with two of the region’s emergency services to make sure the message gets across.
Recreation and Catchment Manager at Yorkshire Water, Geoff Lomas said “reservoirs are extremely dangerous due to the chilling temperatures and the potential for strong undercurrents beneath the surface”. Lomas goes on to describe that consequences of swimming in the reservoirs can prove to be deadly, that “what began as a day out in the sunshine can turn to tragedy within minutes if you decide to take a dip”. According to Yorkshire Water, it doesn’t matter how strong a swimmer the person is, because it’s the cold that kills.
Yorkshire Water is advising visitors to enjoy the scenic views provided in the area, but to pay very close attention to the safety signs.
Ian Thompson, Manager at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service agrees that ‘it may be very appealing to jump into the reservoir to cool off on a warm summer’s day’. However he explains how he wants people to realise the dangers. “Lifes have already been lost this year across the UK and we don’t want to see anyone else hurt or injured”.
What most people don’t understand, is that the body’s natural defences will kick in the second it feels the shock of cold water. The body can actually shut down in order to protect vital organs and muscles. This will leave the swimmer unable to remain afloat.
The definitive message that Yorkshire Water is trying to get across is very simple. They want people to stay out of reservoirs, and stay safe.