Posted: Thursday 14 May 2020, 09:28
No matter how warm the weather is, water temperatures in open water such as lakes, rivers and reservoirs remain cold, meaning a high risk of drowning should someone decide to go for a dip.
With swimming pools remaining closed during the Covid-19 pandemic, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is calling for people to go for a run, walk or bike ride for their daily exercise and not to go for a swim in open water.
Station Manager Kevin Page said: “Cold water shock is when your body reacts to the cold temperatures of open water. It doesn’t matter if you are a strong swimmer or not, your body will go into shock as the cold water increases your heart rate, causes your muscles to cramp and makes you gasp for breath; leading to panic and disorientation.
“Swimming and staying afloat can quickly become impossible, meaning the chances of drowning increase quickly with no lifeguards on hand.
“As well as the cold water shock, there is also the added risk of debris and hidden currents, meaning someone going for a swim could get into difficulty if they became caught.
“Now the exercise restrictions have been lifted, we don’t want to stop people getting active, but we want them to stay safe. Go for a run, a walk, or even a bike ride, but please don’t go for a swim, no matter how inviting the water looks.”
263 people accidently drowned in the UK in 2018 – Stay Alert, Control the Virus and Save Lives.
Water Safety Exercise (pdf 206.40 KB)