AS SUMMER gets into full swing young people are being urged not to not to use canals and rivers to cool down.

The Canal and River Trust is asking young people to find other ways to cool off during the summer holidays.

Summer is always a popular time for people to enjoy the rivers and canals in their towns. Between April 2017 and March 2018 there were more than 32 million visits made by boaters, cyclists, runners, walkers and canoeists in Wales and the South West.

However, the trust says, unfortunately, when the weather warms people sometimes get into difficulties after jumping into the canals and rivers to cool down.

Of the 400 people who drown in the UK every year, more than half the fatalities happen at inland waters such as canals, rivers, lakes, quarries and reservoirs, according to the trust.

The trust has issued the following warnings:

• Canal and river water will be really cold, even in the summer, and will take your breath away and paralyse your muscles making it difficult to swim, so have a cool drink instead.

• If you want to jump and dive, head to your local swimming pool, don’t get in locks or canals. Canals can be shallow and you could hurt yourself if you jump in.

• Lounge in the shade of waterside trees, rather than get tangled in waterway reeds.

• Have an ice lolly at a waterside café.

• Keep your cool – chill out by the water and enjoy the peacefulness of the water.

Debbie Lumb, national health & safety advisor at the Canal & River Trust explains: “Spending time on or by our canals and rivers is a lovely way to spend a summer’s day and they are excellent places for families to explore during the summer holiday. But it’s also important that people, especially children and teenagers, are aware of the dangers of cooling off by going for a dip. The consequences can be devastating.

“Inland waterways, like canals, rivers and docks can look really inviting but you can’t tell what is below the surface.

"The water is often murky and you won’t be able to see the depth or any obstacles in the water. We’re asking people to find another way to cool off this summer – have an ice cream, stay in the shade, go for a swim in your local pool."

To find out more about staying safe near canals and rivers, go to

Ms Lumb added: "Please don’t get in the water, it’s just not worth it.”