Water Safety

As temperatures rise in the British summertime, you or your family may be tempted to cool off with a swim in a local river or lake, or in the sea. Make sure you know the dangers of swimming in open water.

When you are out and about around Greater Manchester's waterways, remember the following:

  • Jumping into open water can be fatal. Cold water shock kills, you don’t know what’s lurking beneath the surface and under-water currents can be deadly.

  • If you get into difficulty in the water, float to live (external website).

  • If you see someone in difficulty in the water remember ‘call, tell, throw’:

    • Call 999 and ask for the fire service if inland or the coastguard if by the sea.

    • Tell the struggling person to try to float on their back.

    • Throw them something that floats.

  • Look out for hazards around water and stick to proper pathways.

  • Let someone know where you are going and when you are coming back, if possible.

  • Take any warning or safety signs seriously.

  • Never enter the water to rescue your dog - who will rescue you?

  • If you encourage your mates to go in the water it could be the last time you see them.

Equally, in freezing temperatures, going onto frozen ponds, reservoirs, lakes and canals is dangerous and can have fatal results.

It might be tempting to walk or play on the frozen water but the ice is not always as thick as it may appear and can easily break. The temperature of the water is cold enough to take your breath away and lead to drowning.

If a dog or other animal ventures onto the ice, or falls through it, do not go onto the ice to rescue it – you are likely to end up in the freezing water and unable to help the animal. Never throw sticks or balls onto the ice for your dog – keep them on a lead near frozen water.

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