Dangers of open water stressed as mercury rises
WITH temperatures rising residents are being urged to be vigilant about the dangers of swimming in open water.
Temperatures are expected to hit 22 degrees this week which could tempt some people to cool off in a nearby lake or river – but the council has said there are many hidden dangers.
An RMBC spokeswoman said open water areas that are not designed for swimming can have unpredictable currents and deep areas.
She added: “Submerged objects can also be a hazard, as well as pollution and micro-organisms such as Weil’s disease, spread by rats.
“In addition to these hazards, with no-one supervising these places help may not be on hand should anyone get into difficulties.
“Even people who feel they are strong swimmers can be at extreme risk.”
Rotherham council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood working and cultural services, Cllr Taiba Yasseen, urged people to visit their local leisure centre or water play area instead.
She said: “We urge parents to be very vigilant and ensure their children are aware of the very real dangers of swimming in open water.
“There are safe alternatives – Rotherham has four modern indoor swimming pools situated across the borough in: Aston-cum-Aughton, Maltby, Rotherham (Effingham Street) and Wath.
“In addition Clifton Park has a fantastic water splash area which allows children of all ages to cool down and have fun in a safe environment.”
Swimming in water on RMBC land is against bylaws and can lead to prosecution with fines of up to £500.
More information on the dangers of open water swimming can be found at www.syfire.gov.uk/water-safety-plea-ahead-of-school-summer-holidays/.