Water safety exercise at Blue Lagoon in Bletchley

Thu 16 Apr, 2015

Firefighters from White Watch at Bletchley Fire Station visited the Blue Lagoon Local Nature Reserve yesterday (Wednesday 15 April) to carry out a drill and raise public awareness of water safety messages.

It coincided with the Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week initiative being run by the Chief Fire Officers' Association, and the arrival of warmer weather which has been encouraging more people to spend time relaxing outdoors.

Firefighters took the opportunity to carry out a hose inflation drill in the morning, returning in the afternoon to advise people of the extremely low water temperature and the hazards posed by swimming or playing in the lake.

Watch Commander Hayley Jones said: “There were no people swimming, but I believe our presence did put a few people off who looked as though they were dressed to swim. 

"We had a chat with some of the people we saw and discussed water hazards. The message is getting through to some people, but there were also quite a few people who still didn’t want to hear it!” 

In Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service works closely with The Parks Trust and Milton Keynes Council to address concerns at high-risk sites, giving out consistent messages as to why it is not safe to swim or play in the borough's lakes, rivers and canals.

Last year, two people died after going into the lake at the Blue Lagoon Local Nature Reserve

Key messages are: 

  • The safest place to swim is in a supervised swimming pool. The water is clean, clear and warm, and there are lifeguards on hand if something goes wrong.
  • Cold water shock, a physical response by your body when entering cold water, can affect your breathing, reduce your muscle ability and can even lead to a heart attack. 
  • Warn your children of the risks, and know where they are when they are out playing.
  • Act responsibly near water, and never swim, even where allowed, after drinking alcohol.
  • If you see a swimmer is in difficulty or there is a risk of drowning, call 999 
  • At home, keep small children away from ponds and pools and make sure they are supervised in the bath.