Neighbourhood Watch - Water Safety Advice from the Fire & Rescue Services

Published: 01 July 2020

Our colleagues from Fire and Rescue Services have advised the following

As we see a peak in temperatures, we see more people enjoying their outside areas and using the water to cool off.

It could be tempting to take a plunge or venture too near the water’s edge. Canals, lakes and rivers may seem inviting, but it is not safe to enter the water due to many hidden dangers.


  • When running or walking next to water, stay clear of the edges
  • River banks may be unstable and give way – particularly after bad weather
  • Take a fully charged mobile phone and check signal strength, and know who to call in an emergency (999 Fire and Rescue for inland or Coastguard at the coast)
  • Make sure you know exactly where you are – consider something like an OS locate app, such as W3W, for a smart phone or a map

We recommended that you don’t enter open water ways such as rivers and lakes and instead choose to use local swimming centers. If you do choose to enter open water take consideration of the following:

  • Under water debris; which could cause you to become stuck or trapped
  • Swift or moving water, weirs or locks which are dangerous to swim in or near
  • “Cold Water Shock”, which is caused by jumping in to cold water in hot weather. The sudden change in temperature can cause a potentially fatal reaction which results in drowning.
  • Areas of open water are often secluded and difficult to locate and if you get in to difficulty there is often a long period before help arrives

NEVER enter open water when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. ALWAYS tell someone where you are going and NEVER enter the waterway by yourself or without someone supervising from the bankside, who can call for help if you get in trouble.

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address:

Regards, Derrick Sweeney
Watch Liaison Officer