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Cold Water Shock and Water Safety Advice - Be Water Aware

On Monday 25 April Firefighters from Whaley Bridge and New Mills were called to assist the ambulance service with a water related incident at Bridgemont, Whaley Bridge which tragically led to the death of a 39 year old woman.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service would like to extend condolences to the family and friends of the deceased at this sad and distressing time.

While we cannot and will not comment or speculate on the circumstances and cause of this tragic death, we would like to remind people of the dangers of entering open water and cold-water shock.

Group Manager Lee Williams said: “Derbyshire has numerous open water sites, including quarries, reservoirs, lakes, and rivers. They all have hidden dangers including strong currents, and hidden debris which could cause entrapment.

“The temperature of open water is also a danger. Even the strongest of swimmers can get into difficultly as cold-water shock causes muscles to cramp, breathing can become difficult and heart rates can increase, this can cause people to panic and lead to drowning.

“This week we are joining fire and rescue services across the UK, supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) ‘Be Water Aware’ week, raising awareness of the dangers of open water, cold water shock and the impact this can have on your own safety.

“If you do enter open water and get into difficulty, use the ‘Float to Live’ technique, lay on your back, put your arms and legs out and float, this will allow you to calm your breathing, gain control and either call for help, or swim to safety.”