Talking West Cheshire

Stay safe around water

WaterFirefighters are warning residents in the borough about the dangers of swimming in open water.  They are urging people not to swim anywhere other than in purpose-built and supervised swimming pools, unless they are members of organised groups.

John Salt, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Unitary Performance Manager said: “I cannot stress enough the dangers that exist in open water swimming. It is so easy to get into difficulties due to factors you did not even know existed.

“The water may look calm on the surface but there may still be strong undercurrents that could pull even a strong swimmer under.  There is also tiredness and the cold, both of which can be killers.” 

It is not only swimmers who are being urged to be careful – other river users are also being asked to take care.  John added: “We would urge people to make sure they have the correct equipment and clothing when taking part in activities on or near the water.  Parents should take particular care and avoid letting their children play unsupervised near the water.” 

Here are some tips on how to stay safe on and near water this summer.

  • Alcohol and swimming do not mix – stay out of the water if you have been drinking.
  • Always watch your child while at the beach, lake or other natural bodies of water.
  • Never let older children swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds.
  • Do not swim near motor boats, jet skis or other power vehicles.
  • Never interfere with lifesaving equipment.
  • Learn to spot and keep away from dangerous water.
  • Heed notices which warn you of the danger.
  • Children should always visit open water sites with an adult.
  • Swimming anywhere other than at purpose built and supervised swimming pools is highly dangerous and is not recommended, unless as part of an organised club.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has a Water Rescue Unit based at Chester Fire Station. For further advice to keep you safe this summer visit the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service site.