As temperatures continue to soar across the UK, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is urging people to stay safe by not swimming or jumping into open water.

The plea comes after more than 10 people lost their lives, or remain missing, in open water across the UK since the heatwave began.

GMFRS’ Head of Prevention, Area Manager Paul Duggan, said, “Our thoughts are with the families and friends of all those who have lost loved ones in open water, particularly over the past week or so, since the prolonged hot weather arrived.

We urge people not to go into open water, no matter how hot it is outside. Even strong swimmers can suffer from Cold Water Shock and it can kill you in just 60 seconds. You also never know how unpredictable under-water currents can be, or what is lurking beneath the surface – people have drowned after getting tangled up in undergrowth and other things hiding in the water.

We don’t want to stop people having fun, though safety is key here as we continue with our mission to educate people of the dangers that come with going into open water.”

GMFRS is supporting the first ever World Drowning Prevention Day, alongside other fire and rescue services in the UK and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council, in a bid to further raise awareness of the dangers of open water and prevent accidental drownings. The global event is organised by the World Health Organisation and will take place on Sunday, July 25, 2021.

Following the launch of its latest water safety campaign on June 23, GMFRS is working closely with family members and friends who have lost loved ones to accidental drowning – who are sharing their ‘stories’ to prevent others having to go through what they have.

The second phase of the campaign sees new banners being put up in areas where young people have drowned or tend to visit with their friends, as well as at community fire stations across the city-region – with clear messages highlighting the dangers of open water.


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