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Residents reminded of the dangers when visiting open water sites across Cheshire

With summer underway, Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are asking the public to stay safe when gathering near open water.

One incident at Thelwall Ferry lead to a 48 hour dispersal order being implemented at the site in order to protect teenagers travelling to the area to congregate.

Superintendent Paul Beauchamp, of Cheshire Constabulary, said: “We understand that with the warm weather many people could be tempted to take a dip in open water too cool off but residents must be aware of the potential deadly consequences. 

“Going into water can not only endanger your own life but the lives of others around you if they jump in to rescue you.

“We don’t want to discourage people from enjoying themselves near water but want to make it clear that we will use all the powers available to us to protect and inform the public of the dangers across the county.”

Across the UK around 315 people accidentally drown each year with statistics showing that 50% of people who drown had no intention of entering the water.

Nick Evans, Head of Prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It is essential that the public stay aware when they’re around open water.

“It is important to remember that you could be at risk of drowning even if you do not intend to go in the water.

“Be sure that you are aware of local safety information, look out for any hazards and adhere to warning signs nearby.

“If you do get into trouble in water, remember to not panic, float on your back and make a star shape if you cannot stand up.

“Then, when it is safe to do so, either call for help or swim to safety.”

David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said: "Water safety is key issue all year round but it is especially important during the summer months.

“It is vitally important that people heed of this advice any keep themselves and others safe.

“By alerting people to the risks, I hope that everyone will stay aware when venturing near rivers, lakes and canals across the county.”

Key safety advice:

  • Wear sturdy footwear whenever you are near open water to lessen your chances of falling in
  • If you are going out to exercise near open water make sure that you tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
  • Make sure that you are familiar with local safety information regarding waterways, look out for any hazards and adhere by any signage
  • Stick to proper paths when walking by open water and bear in mind social distancing ahead of venturing out to exercise – often paths along canals and rivers are narrow
  • Your children need to be supervised at all times when they are near open water
  • Never enter open water to try to help a person or animal – always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available.

For more information and water safety advice please visit https://www.cheshirefire.gov.uk/public-safety/outdoor-safety/water-safety

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