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Local News

Urgent warning as more than 750 swimmers caught in Yorkshire reservoirs


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Hundreds of people have been caught swimming in Yorkshire reservoirs despite four people tragically losing their lives in open water in the span of just one week.

Between July 11 and 18, 762 people were recorded swimming or intending to swim at over a dozen of Yorkshire Water’s reservoirs, not heeding the continued warnings from the company and emergency services across the region.

It comes after the body of a man was recovered from the River Ouse in York, a man died at Crookes Valley Park and two people lost their lives in Wakefield including 15-year-old Caden Taylor who drowned in Knottingley and a man found in the water at Pugneys Country Park.

READ MORE: Warnings issued to 13 swimmers in Baitings Reservoir

Gaynor Craigie, head of land and property at Yorkshire Water, said: “The last week has tragically seen four people lose their lives in open water in our region, following on from a further four fatalities earlier in the year.

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A man's body was pulled from the water at Pugneys Country Park
A man’s body was pulled from the water at Pugneys Country Park

“Our sites have seen a dramatic increase in people swimming, particularly during the recent warm weather, with our teams speaking to almost 800 people intending to swim at just a handful of our sites, including young, unaccompanied children.

“We know the true number of people entering reservoirs across the region will be much greater and we would urge people not to take risks by getting into the water for any reason.”

The company has warned of the several risks associated with open water at reservoirs, which are often underestimated, and pose a potential risk to life.

These include cold water shock, unseen objects, the hazards of operational machinery and the underwater currents they cause.

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“We would urge people not to underestimate these dangers and to speak to their children about the risks of entering open water,” said Ms Craigie.

Yorkshire Water is holding discussions with a range of organisations responsible for watercourses, as well as the emergency services and wild swimming groups, to work together to warn of the dangers of open water and keep people safe.

The water company also hosted events with schools in Yorkshire to raise awareness of the dangers of entering open water.

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Written by: Rother Radio News

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