Water way to enjoy the Lake District safely this summer

Published on: 16 Jun 2023

swimmer floating on her back with bright cap and  tow float for visibility

The Lake District National Park Authority has issued a warning for people to think safety first when around water during this hot spell of weather.

Jack Holmes is one of the Authority’s team of Lake Rangers who patrol the lakes to offer help and safety advice and ensure that byelaws are being adhered to. He said:  

“We know the water is one of the reasons that people love the Lake District and especially when the weather is nice you can absolutely see why.

“We love seeing people having responsible fun in and on the water, but we do urge for a safety-first approach. It’s about planning and preparation rather than jumping straight on in.”

The water in the Lake District remains cold, even on a hot summer’s day and this can lead to cold water shock. There can be dangerous rocks and other hazards below the water’s surface that you can’t see, and the water can be shallower than you think near jetties, so it is not advised to jump into any body of water.

The Authority has published a whole host of safety information on its website for all water activities ranging from boating to paddle boarding. And has ten top tips for people who want to dip their toe in the water of swimming in the Lake District:

  1. Do not swim alone
  2. Always use a bright tow float and cap for visibility
  3. Enter the water slowly and get used to it
  4. Check the depth of the waterbed by walking in carefully
  5. Work out where you will exit the water safely
  6. Don’t be tempted to stay in too long
  7. Wear a wetsuit, if possible, to keep you warmer and more buoyant
  8. Swim along the shoreline so you can easily get out when you need to
  9. Have lots of layers, a hat, and a warm drink for when you get out, even in summer
  10. Never drink alcohol and swim

Jack continued: “Another consideration at this time of year with the warm, dry weather we have been having is to look out for blue green algae before you enter the water. This occurs naturally in freshwater lakes and poses a small risk to human health, but it can be lethal for dogs if they come into contact with it. The advice is not to swim if you spot it.”

This year the National Park Authority has introduced new signage that can be easily downloaded from the National Park website for landowners. This has a QR code link to the Environment Agency’s live blue green algae tracker so that it’s easier than ever to keep up to date with confirmed blue green algae reports.

Our photo shows a swimmer from Bassenthwaite Swim Babes enjoying the Lake with colourful tow float and cap for visibility.

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