Open Water Safety Advice

During the summer months and in particular in hot weather, Thames Valley Police would like to remind our residents of the dangers of open water. Open water includes ponds, lakes, rivers, reservoirs, quarries, docks and beaches.

It is important people make the most of the weather and enjoy the water but do so safely and sensibly.

Spot the dangers

Water may look safe, but it can be dangerous. Learn to spot and keep away from dangers. You may swim well in a warm indoor pool, but that does not mean that you will be able to swim in cold water.

The dangers of water include:

• very cold temperatures
• strong hidden currents
• steep slippery banks – making it difficult to get out
• deep water – which can change and be unpredictable
• hidden rubbish or objects, e.g. shopping trolleys, broken glass
• there are no lifeguards
• it may be polluted and may make you ill

Make sure you:

• stay out of water unless you know it’s safe
• don’t jump into the water from heights, e.g. bridges
• have access to safety equipment
• never enter the water alone
• never swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• look out for warning signs and advice in the area
• keep dogs on leads when you are walking near water
• avoid walking or running near water in the dark

If someone is in difficulty in the water reassure them, shout for help and call the emergency services on 999

For more information on water safety visit the Royal Life Saving Society website.