Workington RNLI called out after young people with inflatables spotted swimming in Whitehaven

Credit: Alun James

Workington RNLI are warning about the dangers of swimming in open water after reports of young people getting into difficulty in the Irish Sea.

They were swimming between the piers at Whitehaven.

The Coastguard was alerted at around 3:30pm that they had got into difficulty and Workington RNLI and Whitehaven and Maryport Coastguard rescue teams were called out.

The volunteer crew of Workington RNLI launched the all-weather lifeboat.

Rescue team colleagues arrived and found all was fine. The RNLI was requested to collect two inflatables which had floated out to sea.

Tim Chittenden, Workington RNLI's operations manager, said: "The caller who raised concerns did the right thing by dialling 999 and alerting the Coastguard. Thankfully all was okay. "However as the warm weather continues, we would ask people to be aware when they are in the sea.

"Playing around in the water can be great fun - but people can be caught out by waves when you least expect it.

"It can only take a second for you to be splashing around near the shore to being taken out to sea. Currents can be difficult to spot and are powerful. It's very easy to get caught out."

If people find themselves in water unexpectedly, the RNLI advises:

Take a minute: The initial shock of being in cold water can cause you to gasp and panic. Effects of cold water shock pass in less than a minute so don’t try to swim straight away.

Relax and float: Float on your back while you catch your breath. Try to get hold of something that will help you float.

Keep calm: Once you're calm, call for help. Swim for safety if you are able.