Fire service issue water safety advice after tragic death of man at Alton Water

View of Alton Water taken from near Lemons Hill Bridge at Tattingstone. Photograph: KEITH MINDHAM

View of Alton Water taken from near Lemons Hill Bridge at Tattingstone. Photograph: KEITH MINDHAM

They have warned people in Suffolk to take care before trying to cool off in the hot weather.

The Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service are urging people to take care when swimming in open water, after a man in his 20s tragically died at Alton Water, at Tattingstone, yesterday.

The advice, issued on the their Facebook page, said: “As temperatures rise today, you or your family may be tempted to cool off with a swim in a local river, reservoir, lake or in the sea.

“We are asking people to stay safe following a tragic incident at Alton Water near Ipswich last night.

“The best way to stay safe in or near the water is to take some sensible precautions and prevent accidents from happening.

“Water is often a lot colder than you expect and it can impact on your physical capabilities. Just because you can swim well in a warm water pool doesn’t mean you’ll be able to swim well in cold water.


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“Water can be deep and it’s difficult to estimate the depth before you get in. You may jump in but can you get out? “Often people can’t find a suitable place to get out of the water due to steep slimy banks or sides.

“There is no way of knowing what lies beneath the surface of the water. There could be debris, rocks, shopping trolleys, opened tin cans or broken bottles, which can cause injuries.

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“Never drink alcohol during or just before swimming or while carrying out activities such as boating or water skiing. This seriously affects judgement and your ability to get out of a problem.

“If you’re going to go swimming, make sure that somebody is nearby so you can shout for help if you get into difficulties.

“Only swim where this is safe and permitted. Look out for warning signs. When you are swimming at a beach, be beware of which flag is flying as this will warn you of any dangers. Speak to a lifeguard if you don’t understand the colours.

“Children should always go to the beach with an adult. An adult can point out dangers or help if somebody gets into trouble.”

What should you do if you spot an emergency?

If you see someone in difficulty in the water, don’t delay – if safe to do so, provide assistance by throwing a line or life preserver and tell somebody, preferably a lifeguard, if there is one nearby.

Do not get into trouble yourself – alternatively use your mobile phone or go to the nearest telephone and dial 999. Tell the operator what the problem is and your location.

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