Call for people to stay safe by not jumping into open water to cool down this summer

As temperatures continue to soar, firefighters are urging people to stay safe by not swimming or jumping into open water.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 5:20 pm

The plea comes after more than 10 people died, or remain missing, in open water across the UK since the heatwave began.

And it follows repeated calls for people to stay away from open water in the borough, particularly at East Quarry in Appley Bridge.

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Concerns have already been raised this summer about youngsters swimming at East Quarry in Appley Bridge

“We urge people not to go into open water, no matter how hot it is outside. Even strong swimmers can suffer from cold water shock and it can kill you in just 60 seconds. You also never know how unpredictable underwater currents can be or what is lurking beneath the surface – people have drowned after getting tangled up in undergrowth and other things hiding in the water.

“We don’t want to stop people having fun, though safety is key here as we continue with our mission to educate people of the dangers that come with going into open water.”

The fire service is supporting the first World Drowning Prevention Day, alongside other fire and rescue services in the UK and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council, in a bid to further raise awareness of the dangers of open water and prevent accidental drownings.

The global event is organised by the World Health Organisation and will take place on Sunday.

Following the launch of its latest water safety campaign last month, the brigade is working closely with family members and friends of people who have died by accidental drowning, who shared their experiences to prevent others having to go through what they have.

The second phase of the campaign sees new banners being put up in areas where young people have drowned or tend to visit with their friends, as well as at community fire stations across the city-region, with clear messages highlighting the dangers of open water.

Social media messages have been shared, including targeted content which will appear on teenagers’ mobile phones and social media newsfeeds.

Later in the summer, adverts will be appearing on phone kiosks and digital displays across Greater Manchester reinforcing the important message of never jumping into or swimming in open water.

Mr Duggan continued: “Firefighters carry out regular water rescue training, though sadly, many water incidents result in fatalities with people drowning before we have time to get to them.

“There are a number of throwlines in place across Greater Manchester’s high-risk waterways, such as Greenbooth Reservoir, Dovestone Reservoir and Debdale Park, containing information about what people should do if they come across someone who is struggling in the water.”

Find out more about the campaign on the fire service's website.

Water safety messages are reinforced through #SummerSafe – a partnership campaign between the fire service, Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the 10 local authorities of Greater Manchester.

Follow activity supporting World Drowning Prevention Day on social media using #WaterSafety and #DrowningPrevention.

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