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As the temperatures start to rise and the sun shines down, it's natural to be drawn to the tranquil waters of lakes, ponds, rivers, and any bodies of water.

But beware, for beneath the surface may lurk more than just fish and tadpoles.

These open bodies of water can be a dumping ground for all kinds of debris, including shopping trolleys and old bikes, which can cause serious harm or even entangle you, making it impossible to escape.

As part of Be Water Aware Week, we are reminding people that the water may look inviting, but it can be deceptively cold, and a sudden plunge can trigger a gasp reflex, causing you to inhale water on contact. It's a danger that should never be taken lightly. If someone falls into deep water, the first thing to do is call for help, straightaway. Dial 999 and don't delay.

To keep yourself and others safe when in and around water, follow these basic rules:

  • If you're going out on your own, always let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back.
  • Pay attention to any warning or safety signs.
  • Be alert to trip or slip hazards around water and stick to designated paths.
  • Riverbanks and cliff edges may be unstable and give way, so be extra cautious.
  • Don't fool around near water, especially if you've been drinking. Look out for each other and raise the alarm if you see someone in trouble.

This summer, stay safe and remember, a little caution goes a long way.

For additional water safety advice visit our Water Safety advice and The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK)