AS SCHOOLS break up for the summer holidays a warning has gone out to people about the dangers of swimming in unsupervised waters.
West Midlands Ambulance Service has launched a public safety campaign geared to educating the public unfamiliar with the hazards at disused water-filled sand and gravel quarries and other stretches of uncharted water.
With more than 400 people drowning in the UK each year including nearly 60 children and young people, ambulance bosses are urging adults and children to think about swimming in unsupervised waters this summer.
The ambulance service message ‘Stay Out of the Water’ follows a string of tragedies last summer which saw 17-year-old Russell O'Neill, and 22-year-old Justas Juzenas killed while swimming in Gullet Quarry, near Malvern.
John Woodhall, WMAS Hazardous Area Response Team Support Manager, said: "As schools breaks-up for the summer holidays there are more opportunities to explore the great outdoors.
"We want people to stay safe and be aware that rivers, pools, lakes and disused quarries are not recreation grounds and there are no lifeguards coming to the rescue if you get into difficulty.
“Water-filled quarries claim lives every year through drowning accidents. They have slippery slopes and unstable rock ledges. The water, which looks inviting, may conceal old machinery and sharp objects left behind after a mining operation closes.
"Even expert swimmers will encounter trouble in the dangerous and deceptively cold waters.”