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WITH a heatwave forecast to hit Greater Manchester this week, fire chiefs are asking people to stay safe around water.
Crews from across Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) have rescued more than 86 people from the city region’s waters since March 2016.
Ahead of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Water Safety and Drowning Prevention campaign, which runs from April 23 to 29, GMFRS is reminding people of the dangers of swimming in open water and asking people to take care around the waterways.
Paul Etches, Head of Prevention at GMFRS, said: “We don’t want to dampen anyone’s fun, but we really want to make sure that you’re safe.With warm weather on the way we need to remind people that the water can still be very cold and cause cramp and breathing difficulties, which can affect your ability to swim and get out of trouble – and this is even the case for strong swimmers.
“Water can be far deeper and stronger than people think and there are unknown hazards that lie beneath the surface such as rocks, shopping trolleys and broken bottles or cans.
“Water can be tempting especially in warm weather, but the consequences can be fatal. Roughly half of people who drown had no intention of entering water in the first place.
“Please only swim somewhere safe, such as a swimming pool. If you do see someone in an emergency, ring 999 and clearly explain where you are, providing nearby landmarks to the operator – but don’t put yourself in danger.”
In July 2011, 13-year-old Dylan Ramsay died when he was swimming in open water at a quarry in Lancashire and got into difficulties.
Hear about the impact Dylan’s death had on his family and friends in this video on our YouTube.
For further safety advice visit manchesterfire.gov.uk or follow @manchesterfire on Twitter.