Express & Star

Teenagers urged to stay out of canals and rivers once exam season ends

Teenagers are being urged to stay out of rivers and canals as exam season comes to an end.

The Canal & River Trust has issued warnings for teens who might be considering a celebratory dip in Shropshire's canals and rivers

With the warm weather rolling in and exam season coming to an end, the Canal & River Trust is urging caution for teens considering a dip in Shropshire's waterways.

60 per cent of accidental water-related deaths in 2022 occurred in inland waters such as canals, rivers, lakes, quarries and reservoirs. 83 per cent were male.

Anne Gardner-Aston, Canal & River Trust director of health & safety has warned of the importance of educating young people about the dangers of open water.

She said: “Canals and rivers are lovely relaxing places to spend time during the warm weather, but it’s important that children and teenagers are aware of the dangers of cooling off by going for a dip with friends.

"The consequences can be devastating, and every year lives are lost and families devastated because young people die whilst swimming and jumping into open water.

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

"The water often isn’t clear, you won’t be able to see the depth or any obstacles in the water, and even on a hot day the water can be extremely cold – these dangers may affect you even if you consider yourself a strong swimmer.

"Jumping into rivers or canals from bridges is extremely risky and can cause nasty, and sometimes fatal, injuries.

“You may be glad to have finished your exams but please don’t celebrate by swimming and jumping into canals, reservoirs and rivers. It’s not worth the risk."