'Respect the water and stay safe': police warning if you're heading to the coast

·2-min read
The water may look calm, but there can be strong undercurrents, warn police
The water may look calm, but there can be strong undercurrents, warn police

EMERGENCY services are urging sun-seekers to take care if they intend to go for a refreshing dip this weekend.

With today forecast to be warm and sunny – with temperatures hitting 21 degrees in York this afternoon – they warn that water can still be cold and dangerous.

In a joint statement, North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire Service said: “As well as keeping protected from the sun, please take care if you're heading out in search of a cooling dip - whether that's along the coast or in a river, stream or lake.

"Please stay safe, and respect the water.”

If you’re heading for the coast, they say, you should be aware of strong currents.

“The water may look calm on the surface but strong undercurrents can cause problems for even the strongest swimmer,” a spokesperson said.

York Press:
York Press:

The water may look inviting - but it will be cold, and there may be currents

Other advice for those planning to go for a swim, wherever that may be, includes:

  • Cold water shock can be really dangerous and whilst the sun might have warmed up the top of the water, underneath it could still be very cold

  • Alcohol and swimming do not mix - stay out of the water if you have been drinking.

  • Never let older children swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds.

  • Never interfere with lifesaving equipment - you might need it yourself

  • If someone is in trouble in the water, call 999 or 112 - ask for the fire service if you're inland or for the coastguard if on the coast

  • Never enter the water to try and help someone in trouble, wait for the emergency services to arrive

  • If you fall into deep water, you should lie on your back and float. Fight the instinct to panic or swim - it's better to just float.

  • Lie back and keep your airways clear, push your stomach up and extend your limbs moving hands and feet to help you float.

  • Try to take and control the effects of cold water shock such as the gasping reflex. Once your breathing is controlled call for help and if possible try making your way towards safety.

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