People urged not to put their lives and the lives of others at risk by swimming in open water

01/06/2020, PR-9416

​Wakefield Council is warning everyone, especially young people and their parents, of the dangers of swimming in open water.

As the coronavirus lockdown begins to ease, people have been enjoying the sunny weather in the district's parks and country parks. However, there are concerns that people are swimming in the water at some of these sites, despite signs clearly warning them not to do so.

Swimming in open water is extremely dangerous. Hidden dangers can lurk beneath the surface of ponds, lakes and flooded quarries, such as discarded waste which can trap people, as well as slippery rocks and sudden changes in water depth.

Cllr Maureen Cummings
Cllr Maureen Cummings

​Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Communities and Poverty at Wakefield Council, said: "I completely understand that we have all been cooped up inside for a long time and with lockdown now starting to ease, people want to enjoy the glorious weather we have been having.

"But, if you are tempted by a cooling dip, please remember that water can become dangerously cold when it gets deeper and you never know what's under the water such as tangles of weeds and rubbish, which raises the risk of drowning or of suffering a severe injury.

"Our emergency services and NHS are already under immense strain so please don't put other people's lives at risk by putting your own life at risk. Please keep away from open water and stay safe."

The Council has provided information and guidance on its dedicated coronavirus information web page at bit.ly/CoronaWFD