Please don't swim in reservoirs - Bristol Water
People cooling off in Bristol Water’s reservoirs are putting their lives at risk, the company has warned.
At the peak of the hot weather, there were sightings of people trying to swim in Bristol Water’s reservoirs - and the company issued a strong warning about the danger this poses.
Staff were having to warn off people, especially youngsters, at Chew and Blagdon Lakes as well as Cheddar Reservoir.
They say Cheddar was the real 'hotspot'.
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As many as 40 people were swimming there on one occasion and 70 on another.
This included families as well as youths.
The company claims people were reluctant and occasionally abusive when asked to leave the water by a BW Fisheries Ranger and a member of the sailing club.
The police were involved on one occasion. Significant amounts of litter and broken bottles also had to be cleared from the site.
"Clearly this is a potentially dangerous situation - we do not want people to swim in the reservoirs out of some wish to spoil their enjoyment, but simply to protect their safety," said company spokesman Jeremy Williams.
"We would appeal to parents not to allow their children into the water. Swimming in reservoirs poses real dangers - last weekend alone, a teenage boy became the seventh drowning victim of the heatwave. He drowned while trying to cool off swimming with his friends in a Lancashire reservoir.
"While the weather has cooled down a bit, it remains warm at times and the reservoir is both very accessible and tempting. In addition, many children will be on half-term holiday next week.
"The reservoirs look very inviting in this sort of weather, but swimming in them is highly dangerous.
"Underwater pumps can suddenly start without warning, creating powerful currents....or there may be submerged obstructions which swimmers cannot see.
"Also, with the reservoirs at high levels, people will quickly find themselves out of their depth -- Chew, for example, is 14 feet deep on average and 37 feet deep at its deepest point.
"Despite our regular warnings, this happens every time the weather heats up. We are especially concerned when we find groups of youths trying to swim in the reservoirs, or dive off structures, when they have clearly been drinking."
Swimming is not allowed in any of the Bristol Water reservoirs, for health and safety and security reasons.