Warning as 17 deaths reported in water during heatwave, charity says

·2-min read
The Royal Life Saving Society UK said it is aware of 17 accidental deaths in the water since last weekend (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)
The Royal Life Saving Society UK said it is aware of 17 accidental deaths in the water since last weekend (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)

At least 17 people have died in the water since Saturday during the heatwave, according to a charity.

Warnings of the danger of open water have been issued as temperatures climbed to 32C in the July heatwave.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) said it is aware of 17 incidents of accidental loss of life in the water between July 17 and July 20.

There have been two further reports of people going missing in the water who are yet to be found.

Lee Heard, RLSS UK’s charity director, said: “Whilst we recognise how tempting it is to cool off in the UK’s beautiful waterways, they hide hazards that tragically take lives each year and we urge the public to use caution when entering the water, getting acclimatised to the water temperature before jumping in.

“The difference between the air temperature and water temperature can literally take your breath away; this is called cold water shock. It is silent, invisible and deadly.

“Water can also hide debris, strong currents and sudden changes in depth that can catch out even the strongest swimmers.

“The Royal Life Saving Society UK urge everyone to learn vital skills and knowledge to prevent future accidental drownings.”

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

All the incidents have taken place in England, except for one which happened in Northern Ireland.

West Yorkshire Police also issued a warning about swimming in open water in hot weather.

The hottest day of the year soared to temperatures of 32.2C at Heathrow Airport in west London.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are set to bring an end to the heatwave over the weekend.

Extreme heat warnings have been put in place until Friday.

Stephen Dixon, a spokesperson for the Met Office, said: “Late on Friday, a band of heavy and thundery rain will migrate from the south-west of the country.

“There are yellow weather warnings for rain on Saturday and Sunday for southern areas of the UK.”

Read More

Pingdemic hits record level as shoppers urged not to panic buy

Online banking and entertainment sites hit by outage

August set for baking hot month as heatwave reaches 30C

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting