Don’t risk your life in reservoir swims in hot weather - warning

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“Don’t die for a swim” is the powerful message United Utilities is issuing across Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley ahead of the hot weekend.

The water company is urging people to think twice about taking a dip in reservoirs across the region as temperatures - and the temptation to cool off - rises over the Easter holiday.

Keith Gardiner, United Utilities’ Regional Reservoir Safety Manager, said: “Reservoirs can seem inviting - particularly on hot days - but cooling off in them can be deadly.

“The water is so cold, even in summer, that people’s bodies can quickly shut down, and even the strongest swimmers can find themselves in difficulties.

“Hidden currents and ledges can make it extremely hard to get out.

“Our message to adults and children is simple: please, please never swim in a reservoir. The risks are not worth it.”

A United Utilities employee has already prevented a potentially fatal incident from occurring at Spade Mill Reservoir, Longridge.

He was patrolling the area early yesterday morning when he spotted a man with a dinghy and a six-pack of beer accompanying two small children onto the reservoir. Fortunately, he was able to talk the man out of heading onto the reservoir when he pointed out the dangers the stretch of water posed to him and his children.

Peter Holland, Chief Fire Officer for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Firefighters know only too well the consequences of complacency in the face of drowning hazards and every year we are called to deal with incidents where a combination of hot weather, the temptation of cooling off in a stretch of water and the consumption of alcohol combine to produce a tragic outcome.

“I applaud the actions of United Utilities in publicising this timely warning with the onset of warm weather and I commend the intervention of their watchful member of staff in preventing what could so easily have resulted in a tragedy at the reservoir in Longridge earlier today.”