With the high temperatures continuing throughout the country, we know many people will want to cool down in open water. However, you should take care when swimming in lakes, quarries, canals or rivers. You can never be certain what is hiding beneath the water. Hidden debris, currents or weeds can injure or trap unsuspecting swimmers.
Cold water shock refers to the reaction of the body to entering cold water. Cold water shock can have a dramatic effect on your body, such as causing you to breathe in water, make your muscles weaken, and can even cause your heart to go into abnormal rhythms, ultimately resulting in death.
Anything below 15°C is defined as cold water so there is a significant risk of it occurring when entering the water at any time of year, even in the summer.
Find more advice on how to react and respond in an emergency, as well as our top tips for spending time in and around water on our safety pages.