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Water Safety advice from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service

Please don’t be tempted to take a dip in rivers, lakes or canals, whatever the weather. Even good swimmers can be caught out by cold water and hidden dangers such as fast currents, deep holes, soft mud, weeds or rubbish

What NOT to do

- Never swim, even where allowed, after drinking alcohol

- Avoid walking on routes near water if you have been drinking alcohol

- Don’t dive or jump straight into open water – this can cause potentially fatal cold water shock even on the warmest day

- If you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, don’t panic – extend your arms and legs out and float on your back until the effects of cold water shock pass

- Never enter the water to try to rescue someone – call 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service if inland and the coastguard if you are on the coast

What TO do

- The safest place to swim is in a supervised swimming pool. The water is clean, clear and warm, and there are lifeguards on hand if something goes wrong

- Be aware of the risk of cold-water shock, a physical response by your body when entering cold water, which can affect your breathing, reduce your muscle ability and can even lead to a heart attack

- Warn your children of the risks, and know where they are when they are out playing

- At home, keep small children away from ponds and pools and make sure they are supervised in the bath.

Photo by Paul King RCE News

Photo by Paul King RCE News

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