Why you should never risk it at the reservoir

Stockport Council is urging teens and their parents to stay safe this summer by staying out of reservoirs.

A third of people in the North West admit they would consider swimming in a reservoir to cool down, a new research by United Utilities has revealed.

However, with latest statistics by the National Water Safety Forum revealing that 300 people in the UK lost their lives in 2016 due to accidental drowning, the Council is asking residents to please stay out of the water.

The chilling facts about reservoirs:

  • Reservoir temperatures rarely get above 10 degrees, even in summer. They are cold enough to take your breath away, make your arms and legs numb, and induce hypothermia.
  • Reservoirs are often extremely deep, with sudden drops you cannot see.
  • There may be hidden currents from water pipes below the surface.
  • Hidden obstacles, such as machinery for water treatment, broken glass or other rubbish, is commonplace.
  • It's hard to get out. The sides of reservoirs are often very steep.
  • Reservoirs are often in isolated places. If you get into trouble, there may be no one around to help.

Councillor Sheila Bailey, Stockport Council’s Cabient Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Reservoirs are about the worst possible place to cool down this summer. They have hidden machinery, unpredictable currents and freezing, muscle-numbing water and even the strongest swimmers can quickly find themselves in difficulty.

“We’d urge teenagers not to be tempted to swim in their local reservoir no matter how hot it gets. Please stay safe, and stay out.”

North West water safety campaigner Beckie Ramsay, whose teenage son Dylan tragically died in 2011 after swimming in a quarry, said: “Nobody is stronger than water. Even when the sun is hot, the water can be freezing, sending the body into shock.

“Dylan was one of hundreds of people who die every year in open water, leaving behind families who face a lifetime of pain. I’d urge all young people, and their parents, to find out about the dangers. Before entering the water, people need to stop and think, ‘could this happen to me? Could I be a Dylan?’”

More information, including video content and a pack for teachers, is available at United Utilities.