Beware diving into Northamptonshire's reservoirs for a quick cool off this summer, says Olympian

The waters of reservoirs often hide strong currents, underwater machinery and thick weeds.
The waters of reservoirs often hide strong currents, underwater machinery and thick weeds.

A British Olympian is warning Northamptonshire people of the dangers of jumping into reservoirs this summer.

Olympic sailor Ben Saxton has launched the campaign by Anglian Water to talk about the risks of swimming in reservoirs in a bid to cool off.

They are warning that the pools often hide underwater machinery, strong currents and entangling mud and weeds.

Ben is now encouraging people to stay safe at Northamptonshire's reservoirs such as Pitsford, Sywell, Drayton and Sulby.

He said: "I have been sailing and playing in the water since I was four years old. The open water is exciting and fun but I'm always very aware of the danger it can pose too.

"The depth and cold temperature mean even on sunny days you can get into trouble. Be sensible, be safe and keep an eye on your mates."

With the summer weather growing warmer each week, many people will be searching for ways to keep cool while having fun in the sun. However, schools will soon be breaking up for summer and with exam results on their way, Anglian Water often sees an increase in young people celebrating their results with friends at reservoirs and watercourses across the region.

Ben said: "When you're enjoying yourself with friends, it's hard to remember that playing in the water can be dangerous. Respect the water - have fun and not a nightmare.

"You never think it could happen to you, but circumstances can change quickly if you're not careful."

The advice follows a series of instances over the last few years where two young people tragically lost their lives after swimming unsupervised in rivers and reservoirs in East Anglia.

Anglian Water's David Hartley said: "Swimming in our reservoirs is illegal, unless it is in a properly designated and supervised area, like the popular beach area at Rutland Water. Swimming isn't the only option for people wanting to enjoy the summer sun at our reservoirs; we offer watersports, cycle routes, inflatable Aqua Parks and much more so you can enjoy the weather without having to worry."

"There are strong currents in the water and hidden machinery lies just below the surface, not to mention the mud and weeds which can trap even the strongest of swimmers. The unexpected temperatures can cause cold water shock and make it difficult for anyone."