MP for South Leicestershire, Alberto Costa, has warned of the dangers of ‘heatwave swimming’ in Leicestershire following concerns raised by local residents at the actions of people who are choosing to swim in local open water spots during the warmer weather.
The warning comes after six people drowned in lakes and rivers in England over the previous weekend as temperatures have soared – bodies of swimmers were recovered on Sunday in Manchester, Oxfordshire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Cumbria.
The MP had said that constituents had been in touch over the past few days concerned at the number of people entering open water in South Leicestershire in an effort to cool off, however the Royal Life Saving Society have warned of the ‘invisible but deadly’ dangers of open water swimming due to cold water shock, strong currents and sudden changes in depth that can even get experienced swimmers into difficulty.
Alberto said, “It is deeply concerning to hear local reports of people engaging in heatwave swimming in potentially dangerous and deadly open water areas across South Leicestershire. Unfortunately, constituents have reported seeing people entering large ponds, portions of the river and canal as well as flooded quarry areas; all of which can be potentially fatal”.
Leicestershire County Councillor for Stoney Stanton & Croft, Maggie Wright, added, “Safety around open bodies of water is incredibly important at all times, but especially during the summer and hotter periods throughout the year when people may be looking to cool off. We have quite a few open spots of water near Stoney Stanton and Croft, especially in former quarry sites, however I would urge residents to avoid these areas as they are certainly not suitable for swimming”.
Alberto concluded, “The fact that six people have sadly died after getting into trouble in open water across the country over last weekend unfortunately underlines just how dangerous this activity can be. I would really urge constituents to please keep to attended indoor pools at the various excellent leisure centres in South Leicestershire, or indeed the monitored open water swimming at Stanton Lakes or Stoney Cove”.
Picture above shows emergency services responding to a man missing in open water near Wakefield last weekend – credit: YappApp