UK heatwave: Yorkshire lifeguards' tips to stop yourself from drowning

Lifeguards on Yorkshire's coast are raising awareness of skills that could save people who find themselves drowning ahead the high temperatures expected this week.

Float to Live is a simple technique which the Royal National Lifeboats Institution (RNLI) say can make the difference between life and death.

The charity says floating on your back, spreading your arms and putting your legs in a star-fish position and taking slow deep breaths until help arrives could make the difference between life and death.

As the weather heats up, thousands of people will be heading to the region’s beaches to cool down. Lifeguards are therefore warning about the dangers of swimming in open water, and the increased risk of drowning during the heatwave.

To drive this message, the RNLI has created a short, 30 second advert, highlighting the five steps to recovery.

Figures from last year for the North East, which includes Yorkshire, show 1,833 people were aided or rescued by the RNLI.

Lifeguards say inviting-looking cold water can hide postential dangers. When in cold water (anything below 15C), the body can go into cold water shock. If this happens, you lose control of your breathing and movement. Cold water shock also causes your heart rate and blood pressure to quickly increase, which can lead to cardiac arrest.

Temperatures are set to reach up to 30 degrees this weekend. Credit: RNLI

The average sea temperature around the UK and Ireland is just 12C. Inland waters like lakes, rivers, lochs and reservoirs can be colder - even in the summer.

Rip currents are another danger. These are powerful currents that run out to sea. They can quickly drag you away from the shore and into deep water.

They can be difficult to spot, and it is easy to get caught out by them. The best way to avoid rip currents is to choose a lifeguarded beach and always swim between the red and yellow flags.