keeping safe on the water and fell21 July 2022
One of the Lake District National Park Authority’s Lake Rangers, Jack Holmes is urging people to keep their cool in Lake District waters during this heatwave and all summer season. He says:
“While the water is very tempting with the current weather conditions, it’s important that people plan ahead and make sure they have all the knowledge and skills they need to keep safe. It’s imperative that people don’t get tempted to go for a dip after drinking alcohol as that’s never a good idea.
“Our deep lakes and tarns in the Lake District can be cold, even on a hot summer’s day. Sudden exposure to cold water can cause cold water shock which can cause swimmers to gasp and inhale water. This can quickly lead to drowning.
“Other considerations for potential swimmers to take in account are to think about other lake users like ferry services and other boating traffic. People should be aware that there are often rocks and hazards under the water that you can't see, and the water may be shallower than you think near our jetties so please don’t just jump in and hope for the best.”
The National Park Authority’s 10 swimming safety considerations are:
- Enter the water slowly to get used to it.
- If you do find yourself struggling for breath due to cold water, remember the Float to Live tactic.
- Swim with a friend or as part of a group.
- Wear a wetsuit to keep you warmer and more buoyant.
- Use a tow float and bright swim cap to make you more visible
- If possible, have an accompanying canoe, kayak or paddle board.
- Check the depth and the water bed by walking in carefully.
- Work out where you will exit the water easily.
- Don't stay in too long.
- Stay close to the shoreline to avoid boating traffic and to ensure you can get out easily if you need to.
Keep an eye on the @lakesrangers Twitter account water safety advice all summer or visit https://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting/things-to-do/water for more information.
As the heat puts additional strain on your body, keeping safe on the fells during high temperatures is also important. Lake District National Park experts encourage everyone, even seasoned fell walkers, to plan their route in advance, take plenty of water and sun screen and layers of clothes to keep safe this summer. People are being reminded to be Adventuresmart and ensure that they have the correct knowledge, skills and equipment and know what impact the weather forecast will have on them.
As the ground is so dry there is an increased risk of wildfires so the Lake District National Park reminds visitors that barbecues and camp fires are not permitted anywhere in the National Park other than designated camp sites where prior permission has been granted.