Public reminded about possible dangers in water

Chief fire officer Alex Bennett
Chief fire officer Alex Bennett

As the school summer holidays get into full swing, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is reminding young people and parents of the dangers in and around open water.

As temperatures remain high, people enjoying the fine weather may be tempted to cool off in rivers, lakes or the sea.

Alex Bennett, chief fire officer for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “There are three main dangers to people entering open water: The cold, which can stop people in their tracks; currents, which are often undercurrents invisible from the water’s edge and can sweep even the most competent swimmers away; and a lack of information about what lies beneath the surface.

“These hidden dangers can be especially prevalent in rivers and canals, where there may be objects underwater that could harm swimmers such as broken glass, tins, weeds or abandoned shopping trolleys.”

Coun Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “Northumberland is a very large county which encompasses miles of rivers and coastline in some of the most beautiful settings, which local people and visitors are, quite rightly, always keen to enjoy each year when the sun comes out.

“We would like to remind people of the dangers, so that they can take the necessary precautions to remain safe at all times.”