Norfolk Police issue warning to keep safe in the water over Bank Holiday weekend

Scenes from the first day of the Houghton International Horse Trials. Pictured are Anne-Sophie Beilfort and Olympe Dumont. Picture: Ian Burt

Scenes from the first day of the Houghton International Horse Trials. Pictured are Anne-Sophie Beilfort and Olympe Dumont. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

Sunseekers looking to cool off in the region’s water this weekend have been given warnings about how to stay safe after a spell of warm weather was forecast for this weekend.

Scenes from the first day of the Houghton International Horse Trials. Picture: Ian BurtScenes from the first day of the Houghton International Horse Trials. Picture: Ian Burt

Norfolk Police’s Broads Beat team said while a river may be a tempting way to cool off, the water can hide hidden dangers.

PC Paul Bassham said police wanted people to come and enjoy what the Broads has to offer, but to also be aware of the risks and stay safe.

He added: “There are many dangers that people may not necessarily see such as the change in depth, sudden decreases in temperature, unseen objects and currents, which can cause even the strongest of swimmers to get into difficulty very quickly.”

MORE: Heatwave could end over the bank holiday weekend with chance of rain

Officers are also keen to remind people about the dangers of mixing alcohol and water, which can be fatal.

PC Bassham said: “We would like to remind those at the helm of a vessel that there are hefty fines for navigating when not in proper control of your boat whether this is due to taking drugs or being intoxicated.”

Broads Beat officers will continue to carry out land and river patrols over the bank holiday weekend and into the summer season to ensure the Broads remain a safe place to visit.

The RNLI have also issued warnings, saying that sudden immersion in cold water can put people at severe risk of suffering cold water shock, which triggers the instinctive but life-threatening reaction to gasp uncontrollably and swim hard, which can quickly lead to drowning.

RNLI lifesaving manager Darren Lewis offered some advice for those who are planning to go into the water.

He said: “The best way to stay safe is to choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, which is the area most closely monitored by the lifeguards.

“If you see someone else in danger in the water, fight your instinct to go in and try to rescue them yourself – instead call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

“The RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards saved hundreds of people from near-fatal incidents in 2016 and rescued thousands more but, sadly, they aren’t able to reach everyone.

“If people in danger in the water can help themselves initially by floating and regaining control of their breathing, they stand a much greater chance of surviving.”

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