Swimmers warned to stay out of the river

By Tim Clarke 29/05 Updated: 30/05 11:09

THRILL seekers looking to cool off in the city's river this summer are being urged to stay out of the water.

The warning comes from Worcester City Council and follows the recent rescue of a woman from the River Severn by the South Quay in Worcester and a man being pulled to safety by firefighters from the River Avon in Evesham on Sunday (May 27).

The council fear warmer temperatures as the weekend of Diamond Jubilee celebrations approach may tempt others to dive into the river to cool off.

But the council said strong undercurrents and hazards below the surface such as trees, debris from wrecked boats and other large items like shopping trollies were just a few of the hidden dangers.

Plunging into extremely cold water can also cause the body to go into shock, resulting in breathing difficulties and muscle tightening.

Coun Jabba Riaz, council cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, added: “We understand why a cooling swim might be tempting but we want to remind people how dangerous it is to swim in rivers and reservoirs.

“It is often not possible to fully gauge the depths of the water or the prevailing currents. Where water levels are unknown, jumping and diving into water can cause serious injury. The water can also be very cold, in stark contrast to the warm air and body temperatures on land."

"The sudden change in temperature can create serious problems for would-be swimmers and is often the cause of drowning.”

He said the council strongly advised people to resist temptation and stay out of rivers and reservoirs even if the water levels are low and the river seems slow.

"People who want to enjoy swimming in Worcester can use the city’s two swimming pools," he added.

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