Monday 22nd June 2015 – 8.40am – Chris Kowalik.
As summer begins, West Midlands Ambulance Service is warning you of the dangers of unsupervised open waters such as rivers, ponds, canals and quarries.
A week-long social media campaign will feature videos from Gullet Quarry in Worcestershire where two people died after jumping into the deep water two years ago. It will also highlight the River Severn, the country’s fastest flowing river, and the training ambulance staff undergo in order to perform water rescues.
Information from the Royal Life Saving Society UK shows around 400 people drown in the UK every year and thousands more are injured. Drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death of children in the UK. The series of videos co-incides with the Society’s ‘Drowning Prevention Week’.
In one of the videos West Midlands Ambulance Service’s water safety expert John Woodhall who was involved in both incidents at Gullet Quarry said: “As soon as you jump in something as cold as this, what you get is a physiological response. When the cold water hits your chest you will … almost gasp. If you take any water in during that, it will cause you to cough, splutter. You will quickly get into difficulty and you may potentially drown.”
If you want to cool off this summer, take a dip in water that is supervised by lifeguards.