Keep Safe in the Water

photo of a lake

When the sun is shining and the temperatures warm up, it can be tempting to cool off in the nearest water source. This temptation has to be resisted though as it isn’t safe; although it may seem like a good idea at the time, swimming in rivers, streams, reservoirs or quarry pools isn’t safe as you can’t see what is lurking below the surface when you’re stood above the water. Diving into watercourses to cool down sounds very inviting but it can result in serious injuries, and even death.

These types of water can be highly dangerous as you can’t tell how deep they are, they could have strong under currents, low temperatures and hidden obstacles beneath the water. There are often hidden structures such as submerged concrete parapets or objects such as shopping trolleys and stolen bicycles waiting to trap the unwary.

Because the water in rivers, lakes and streams is untreated it can harbour the leptospirosis virus, spread by rat urine, which enters the body through cuts, grazes or the mouth lining causing Weil’s Disease and unless treated in the early stages could be fatal. It causes aches and pains, similar to ’flu, a couple of weeks after infection.

Hidden Dangers

Most people who drown in rivers can swim, but die because the shock of the cold water temporarily paralyses them. You might think the warm weather will raise river temperatures so the shock from cold water isn’t a risk, but the water temperature doesn’t rise a great deal because it is flowing and constantly fed by underground sources.

Hidden dangers can cause broken legs and other injuries or trap or entangle a swimmer dragging them under the water.