Rescuers prepare to keep summer swimmers and thrillseekers seekers safe

ITV Border's Kieran Macfadzean went along to a training session at Kirby Lonsdale to see how Cumbria's Fire and Rescue Service's are preparing for water rescues.

As the weather starts to warm up, more people are taking the plunge in some of the region's waters.

Cumbira's lakes and rivers are a magnet for swimmers and water enthusiasts alike.

With tourist season on the horizon and millions expected to flock to the area to enjoy the lakes, the region's fire and rescue teams have been preparing to help those who get into trouble.

Mike Johnson, Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner said: "Cumbria has a lot of bodies of water, and we have a lot of visitors.

"We have half a million residents here in Cumbria, and we also experience 46million people who come and visit our beautiful county.

"It's really, really important that our fire and rescue service are able to rescue people if they find themselves in difficulty if they end up in a body of water."

The three main types of water related accidents fire and rescue services attend are:

  • Rescue of people who didn’t intend to go in the water

  • Rescue of people who were in the water intentionally and got into difficulty

  • Rescue of people who intentionally enter the water with the intent to harm themselves

Fast currents and cold water shock can mean that some people get into trouble, especially those unfamiliar with the area.

With millions expected to flock to the area, the region's fire and rescue teams are preparing to help those who get into trouble Credit: ITV Border

Stuart Dams, water safety instructor said: "Very quickly in the water, you're going to get cold, hypothermic.

"If you're on moving water it will strip your body of heat about 25 times faster than it would do when you're out of the water or on still water.

"People get cold very quickly, so not only do they lose their dexterity, you also have difficulty thinking straight due to the coldness of the body and the hypothermia setting in."

How to stay safe this Spring and Summer

The service says their first priority is prevention, and say that you can stay safe by following their water safety advice:

  • If you are spending time near water, make sure you know what to do if you happen 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 on 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.

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