Reservoirs with their sudden drops, hidden machinery, unpredictable currents and freezing, muscle-numbing water can be fatal for those who ignore the warning signs

New figures have today revealed that throughout 2016, 300 people lost their lives from accidentally drowning in reservoirs across the UK [1].

The numbers come from United Utilities, who own 180 reservoirs in the North West. The organisation is now eager to raise awareness of the unknown dangers that people can face by swimming in a reservoir.

Despite the staggering figures, new research finds that over a third of people in the region would brave the reservoir waters if the weather is good. And young, impulsive, Brits aged 13-to-19 appear to be most keen on getting in a reservoir; not understanding the risks and dangers.

As with most things during youth, peer pressure is one the leading reasons why youngsters get into the water. Almost half of teenagers in the North West say that they have taken risks which could have been life changing, that they now regret. They also say that they have been pressured into doing things which have taken them outside of their comfort zones.

Lake Water (PD)

Fortunately, the data shows that the older you get, the more responsible you become, which is why it is imperative for parents and grandparents to educate younger members of their family on the dangers of swimming in reservoirs – and encourage youngsters not to.

Water in reservoirs does not warm up with the weather – meaning you can receive ‘Cold Shock’ as you enter the water and the shock is strong enough to give you a heart attack. Reservoirs also have hidden currents, which can suck you under, and underwater machinery (which you can’t see) that can cause serious injury.

Matt Upton, United Utilities Water Catchment Manager said:

We don't want to stop people from having an adventurous summer. But there are much safer ways to get an adrenaline fix. While teenagers are the most likely to put themselves in harm’s way, we’ve seen adults and even parents with young children taking the plunge, not realising just how much danger they are in.”

Reservoirs with their sudden drops, hidden machinery, unpredictable currents and freezing, muscle-numbing water can be fatal for those who ignore the warning signs – the last thing you want is for a fun day out to turn into a tragedy.

[1] www.unitedutilities.com/help-and-support/about-us/recreation-sites/reservoir-safety/

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