Warning from Warwickshire fire service about the dangers of swimming in open water following the deaths of two teenagers

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WARWICKSHIRE County Councils Fire and Rescue Service are warning residents about the dangers of swimming in open water, following the deaths of two teenage boys.

The first teenager, Aaron Burgess, 14, lost his life after getting in to difficulty in the river near Saltford Weir on Tuesday, the second teenager, who is yet to be formally identified lost his life after getting into difficulty in a quarry in Lower Gornal in Dudley on Wednesday.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, Jim Onions said: “In light of these tragic incidents, I cannot stress enough the dangers that exist in open water swimming. The water may look calm on the surface, but there may still be strong undercurrents that could pull even the strongest of swimmers under.

“The water may also feel relatively warm on the surface, but just a few feet below can be icy cold, even in the warmer weather and can very quickly cause severe cramp or hypothermia.

“Our message is simple, cooling off in rivers, canals, ponds, quarries and lakes can have fatal consequences, so please don’t take the risk!”

The dangers of swimming in cold water may not always be apparent, so take care and be aware of the following:

· The water can be very cold - this could very quickly cause severe cramp and hypothermia.

· There may be hidden currents which could quickly pull you under the water · It can be difficult to get out (steep slimy banks) · Alcohol and swimming do not mix - stay out of the water if you have been drinking.

· There may be hidden rubbish, e.g. shopping trolleys, broken glass · If you get into trouble, there are no lifeguards to save you!

· it may be polluted and may make you ill

For more information on how to stay safe near water, log onto http://www.rospa.com For the latest news on Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service log onto http://www.facebook.com/warwickshirefireandrescueservice