THE TRUST looking after Gloucester and Sharpness Canal is urging people to stay out of the water this summer, no matter how hot it gets.
The Canal and River Trust, the charity which cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, is asking people to resist the temptation to cool off as warm weather is expected to return as sometimes it can cause tragic consequences.
Head of health and safety for the trust, Tony Stammers, said they always urged parents to make sure their children know how to stay safe.
“Canals and rivers are brilliant places to go to on hot days, and excellent for families to explore during the holidays – I’d encourage anyone to make a visit this summer”, he said.
“But it’s also important that people, especially children, are aware of the dangers of cooling off by going for a dip in the wrong place.
“In particular, inland waters such as canals, rivers and reservoirs may look inviting on a hot summer’s day, but any open body of water can pose a hazard.”
Danger arises because the water can often be extremely cold and can bring on cramps in even the strongest swimmers and there may be hidden objects lurking beneath the surface.
Each year around 400 people drown in the UK, with the highest number of deaths recorded in the country’s inland waterways according to the Royal Life Saving Society UK, with children, young adults and people under the influence of alcohol among the highest risk groups.
More than 30 people drowned in just seven weeks during last summer’s heat wave.
For more information, visit www.canalriverexplorers.org.uk