A CHARITY is warning people of the dangers of open water.

It comes after the Lancashire Telegraph revealed last year that a number of people were taking part in dangerous canal lock diving during hot weather.

As temperatures are predicted to rise this summer, the Royal Life Saving Society UK has issued water safety tips that could save lives.

The drowning prevention charity warns that open water remains deadly cold at this time of year and entering rivers, quarries and lakes can be fatal.

Diving or jumping into water with low temperature can cause the body to have a cold shock response, resulting in a number of involuntary physiological responses including difficulty in moving limbs, making swimming or staying on the surface difficult, and a sudden gasp which can mean water is breathed in instead of air.

RLSS UK’s Director of Lifesaving, Adrian Lole, said: “When the body is plunged into extremely low temperatures it can result in a devastating and deadly outcome.

“At this time of year when air temperatures hit 20 degrees, open water is especially dangerous as water temperatures range between 11 and 13 degrees.”

Around 85 per cent of all accidental drownings occur at open water sites. Many of these drownings occur due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of the hazards.

For more water safety advice visit www.rlss.org.uk