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  1. Published on: 27/07/2019 07:06 AMReported by: roving-eye
    Weirs, currents, and underwater structures all pose hazards, warns the Environment Agency.

    People looking to cool off this summer by taking a dip in the region’s rivers have been advised to pay close attention to warning signs when swimming close to Environment Agency structures.
    The Environment Agency owns and maintains assets in many locations across the river network and on the coast, and swimming too close to them could lead to serious injury or even death.
    Our structures carry warning signs outlining that strong currents, underwater structures and sudden changes in depths can all pose a serious risk to even the most experienced of swimmers.
    Those who ignore the warnings are not only potentially putting their lives at risk, but could be committing an offence leading to a day in court and a £1,000 fine.
    Jumping or diving off our assets - which includes weirs, sluices, locks and pumping stations - is strictly prohibited.
    Paul Separovic, Waterways team leader at the Environment Agency, said:
    In partnership with local councils and landowners, we work to advise on the safety risks connected with our river structures.
    The Environment Agency looks after many structures that keep our waterways safe, our navigation channels clear and our properties protected from flooding.
    It is important that people know how to stay safe around these structures while enjoying being around water this summer.
    • Don’t be tempted to jump from structures - dangerous objects could be hidden beneath the surface and cause injury or even death
    • Use designated crossings only - don’t be tempted to walk across weirs. Fast-flowing water will knock you over.
    • Keep safe by reading information boards around navigational locks, and always pay attention to warning signs.

    For further details about the dangers of wild swimming, follow guidance from Public Health England,the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the Royal National Lifeboats Institute.
    If you spot someone jumping off of, swimming close to or damaging Environment Agency structures, report it - call 0800 80 70 60.
     

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