Keep out of reservoirs warn Yorkshire Water

24 July 2012

‘Someone will die if people keep ignoring danger signs to put their lives at real risk by entering reservoir waters.’

That’s according to Yorkshire Water who is issuing a warning to people to stay out of its reservoirs as schools break-up and temperatures soar this week.

Already this year the company has responded to dozens of incidents where people have been risking their lives by swimming or playing in its waters.

These include one incident at Ardsley reservoir between Wakefield and Dewsbury where more than a dozen people had to be asked to leave the water by extremely concerned Yorkshire Water officials, and another at Ryburn reservoir near Halifax where a number of people were actually diving off a platform into the water.

Meanwhile, there was a narrow escape at Digley reservoir, near Huddersfield, after two children were photographed playing right by the water’s edge, after having climbed under a fence and ignored a danger sign.

Thankfully nobody was injured, but the company is warning that if people continue to ignore the danger signs and fences, it’s potentially only a matter of time until someone doesn’t make it out alive.

Yorkshire Water’s recreation manager Geoff Lomas comments:

It’s a stark message, but if you enter one of our reservoirs, for whatever reason, there’s a chance you may not come out alive.

They may seem like a good place to take a swim or cool down but, in fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

When fatalities occur – and they do across the UK each year – it’s often the temperature which is the most significant factor. Reservoirs are deep and the water doesn’t flow like in rivers or the sea so the temperature rarely rises much above 12C.

Strong current also lurk beneath the surface of often calm looking waters as we draw water into our supply network.

It really doesn’t matter how well you can swim as it’s the cold which paralyses your muscles, meaning the victim is unable to stay afloat and if help doesn’t arrive within seconds, they will drown.

So, please don’t put yourself in danger, please stay out of our reservoirs.

Even if the alarm is raised quickly, it can be minutes before emergency services arrive at the scene, and even then, they may not be able to enter the water until specialist equipment arrives.

Yorkshire Water has worked with the Hambleton Community Safety Partnership to develop a hard-hitting DVD which re-enacts a drowning and the response by police, fire and ambulance services. More details about the Dying To Be Cool campaign are available on the company’s website at


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