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Swimmers in the Lake District have repeated warnings from the authorities

There has been repeated warning, by the Police fire and Lake District officers, urging swimmers to take care of Cumbria’s lakes and tarns, as they become crowded with swimmers running away from the sun’s heat.

The warning came after a 21-year-old swimmer died in Coniston Water on Sunday. The Police also noted that people were still using the 40ft bridge to jump into the water, saying that hitting the water from that height would be like hitting concrete.

The Devil’s Bridge, which spans the River Lune, is still being used for tombstoning in Kirby, Lonsdale. People have been doing this despite a by-law that prohibits this dangerous activity.

The Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Ian Cartwright, said that rivers, lakes, and reservoirs posed a serious danger, even to experienced swimmers. The National Park Ranger of Lake District, Sara Spicer, has said that open water swimming is welcomed, and is a great way of enjoying the scenery and being active during the summer.

She also said that people should be mindful of a few tips that will keep them safe, given the fatality that happened in Coniston water. She said that rather than jumping into the water, one should walk carefully into the water, and be mindful of steep shelves.

Although the surface of the water is usually warm, people should be careful of the deep water temperatures which can be extremely cold to the point of becoming icy. When people are hot, they may ignore the thermocline barrier. This means that jumping in could potentially cause the body to shut down, where muscles fail to move, and this could lead to panic, and eventual death.

She tells people not to go out alone, and to stay close to the shores. It is a good idea to wear a bright colored hat, and one should never swim after eating or taking alcohol. The national park has published a Safety on the Water leaflet, and more information can be accessed at www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/watersafety

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