Safety on our waterways

Whatever the weather, our waterways are very popular with thousands of people visiting every year. With every season we urge all of you to be careful and safe around water - here you can find more information about what you can do to help.

Family on the canal in winter Family on the canal in winter

We are urging visitors to remember that although they may be fit and strong on land, you can’t train your body for the shocks of unseen dangers under the water. The risks include:

  • Low temperatures which can cause the body to go into cold shock and even hypothermia, drawing the blood away from your muscles to protect your organs. This can lead to drowning.
  • Reeds and other plant life which can get tangled around limbs and keep you in the water.
  • Rubbish, like shopping trolleys, which can trap your feet as well as cause injury.
  • Depth perception - it could be much shallower than you expect it to be and cause serious harm if someone jumps in, as well as being much deeper than expected in other areas.
  • Waterborne diseases such as Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease).

Last date edited: 14 November 2017