Fire service warns of water dangers ahead of Easter weekend

Credit: Kate Walby / ITV Border

Fire and rescue teams have spent the day carrying out mock water rescues in the Lake District ahead of the Easter weekend and school holidays. 

With warmer temperatures combined with the easing of lockdown, there are fears groups of people maybe tempted to go for a dip.

The River Eamont at Pooley Bridge might look inviting in the sunshine but it's just seven degrees and can cause cold water shock, the fire service has warned.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Area Manager and Head of Community Safety, Craig Drinkald, said: “In Cumbria, we carried out more than 200 water rescues between 2015 and 2020, which sadly included 8 fatalities.

"By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach our communities, we hope to reduce the number of these preventable deaths.

“Temperatures in Cumbria have started to rise slightly, but that does not mean all of our nearby waters are safe to be entered."

Fire service carry out mock river rescue in Pooley Bridge. Credit: Kate Walby / ITV News

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service Water Safety Advice:

  • If you are spending time near water, make sure you know what to do if you happened to fall in. The advice is not to panic, float on your back and then either call for help or swim to safety.

  • If you've consumed alcohol, do not enter the water, and avoid walking routes near water.

  • Never enter the water to try and help a person or animal - always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available.

  • If you are spending time near water whether at home or abroad, make sure you are familiar with local safety information and that children are always fully and actively supervised.

The Met Office tweeted there would be “some exceptional warmth” and “massive” temperature contrasts as the month comes to a close.

Chief meteorologist Steve Ramsdale said: “The UK will see a few days of notably warm weather to end March, with a maximum of 24°C on Wednesday in the south and east of England.

“There will also be plenty of sunshine across England and Wales, however parts of Scotland will see some persistent rain over the next couple of days.

“Conditions will start to change through the day on Thursday as cooler air moves in from the north east. Highs will fall to the mid-teens before falling further by Friday, especially along the east coast."