WITH the start of the school summer holidays, I am requesting readers’ help in saving young peoples’ lives.

In 2018 263 people accidentally drowned in the UK. In many cases water temperature was a significant factor.

‘Cold water shock’ is an involuntary gasp when one is suddenly plunged into cold water; this can result in the inhalation of water and drowning. Immersion in cold water also increases the heart rate, makes breathing more difficult and causes muscles to tire, dramatically impacting on one’s ability to swim.

After a long period of hot weather many people assume that open water will be relatively warm. In reality, the water temperature of lakes and reservoirs can be well below 15 degrees.

These lakes and reservoirs can also be extremely deep, have sudden changes in water depth, be difficult to exit and conceal a range of hazards. Some quarry lakes have high alkalinity or are polluted which can lead to skin rashes, stomach upsets or poisoning.

The Mineral Products Association is supporting the water safety campaigns being run by the RNLI and other organisations such as the RLSS and the Fire and Rescue Services. We do not want to discourage members of the public from enjoying the water, but would like people to be aware of the risks and choose to swim in areas that are safe.

Elizabeth Clements Mineral Products Associatio