Council urges people to keep out of open water

24/06/2020, PR-9447A

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

Previous hot and sunny weather has seen people risking their lives by swimming in open water, particularly at Horbury Lagoon – despite signs warning them not too.

With the next few days forecast to be very warm, Wakefield Council is urging people to stay out of the water. 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 are all enjoying some new freedoms as lockdown continues to ease and that people want to enjoy the glorious weather we are having.

"But, if you think you can cool off in open water, please don’t do it as you are risking your own life and the lives of others. The 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.

"Please don't take a dip. It cannot be worth putting lives at risk. Keep away from open water and stay safe."

People are also being reminded to respect the district’s parks and green spaces by disposing of litter responsibly and not lighting barbecues or create campfires in parks because of the fire risk.

Cllr Cummings added: "It is everyone's responsibility to make sure our parks and green spaces are a clean and welcoming place for all to enjoy. We are working hard to empty the bins as often as we can, but if they are full please take your rubbish home. There is no excuse for littering."