We want everyone to enjoy visiting the Lakes and most importantly we want you to stay safe.
Swimming in reservoirs is dangerous. These are operational sites and even the strongest swimmers can get into serious difficulties.
Reservoirs are incredibly deep in places, but very shallow in others – particularly as water levels drop over the summer – making jumping in or swimming extremely dangerous.
The water temperature stays very low and can cause shock or hypothermia. The water also hides other dangers such as machinery, sudden dips and drops, weeds and mud, and very strong currents created by the changing depths and continuous pumping of water.
The risks include:
- Uneven depths and very cold water, which can send the body into shock in seconds
- Cold Shock – it can happen at any time of the year. When you jump, dive or fall into cold water, there is an involuntary ‘gasp’ response as the water hits your skin – you will not be able to control your breathing. During Cold Shock your blood pressure rises and heart rate increases, most people, even the best of swimmers, start to panic.
- Hidden machinery – underwater pipework takes water out of the reservoir
- Stone or concrete structures below and above the water
- Strong currents
- Steep, slippery banks
- Underwater plants such as reeds and mud can trap swimmers
- Remote locations with poor or no mobile phone coverage, and lack of immediate assistance
Anyone ignoring the warning is risking their life, as well as those of others who may come to their aid.
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