Firefighters warn Greater Manchester public of open water dangers

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FIREFIGHTERS in Greater Manchester are warning people not to risk their lives by swimming in reservoirs and lakes.

The latest warning comes after two men drowned, in unrelated incidents, on Tuesday June 5, after swimming in reservoirs in Bolton and Gorton.

Marinas such as Sale Waterpark in Trafford, say that they also encourage visitors not to swim in the lake as there are many hidden dangers.

Below the surface lie a plethora of unforeseen items such as abandoned shopping trollies and waste.

In addition to sharp rocks, there are also many weeds under the water that have grown longer than usual due to the recent hot temperatures which can easily become tangled around swimmers.

Trafford Water Sports Centre manager, Ben Crimes, encourages people to use their local swimming pools instead if they need to cool off during the hot weather.

Paul Etches, Head of Prevention at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), said: “These are huge bodies of deep, open water and the temperature rarely rises above 12°C.

“This is cold enough to cause shock and increased breathing rate. Muscles will stiffen and fatigue will set in very quickly making it impossible to swim to safety – even for the strongest of swimmers.”

If you see anybody experiencing difficulty in open water, call 999 immediately but do not attempt to go into the water yourself.

Further safety information can be found via the United Utilities or Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue websites.

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