COUNCIL bosses have urged would-be swimmers to keep on dry land in Barnsley parks after the deaths of two young people across Yorkshire who drowned in turbulent open water.
A teenage boy was found in Ulley reservoir in Rotherham on May 28 after getting into difficulty while in the water and then a 13-year-old’s body was recovered from the River Calder, in Brighouse, days later.
Barnsley firefighters revealed - earlier this year - that they attended 62 water-related incidents over the last two years.
Out of the 62 call-outs, 16 have been specific water rescues and the remainder have been linked to flooding.
A spokesperson for Barnsley Council said: “Parents, please talk to your children about the dangers of swimming in open water.
“None of the parks in our borough has open water which is safe to swim in.
“The water may look inviting, but there are many potential hazards posed by swimming in our waters, leading to serious accidents.”
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue area manager, Stewart Nicholson, said: “Too many young lives are needlessly lost in open water every year.
“Our message couldn’t be clearer - please, please stay out of the water and stick to swimming pools or organised swimming groups instead.”
Watch manager Craig Huxley, from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, added: “Our message is simple people should stay out of the water unless they are part of an open water swimming group, of which there are several locally.
“Unless you are part of one of these groups, you shouldn’t be going anywhere near open bodies of water such as quarries, lakes and reservoirs.
“To start with, lots of these places are privately owned, so people shouldn’t be going there anyway.
“Then, beyond that, there are a wide range of risks with jumping into open water.
“The water is almost always colder than it looks. The body can temporarily shut down from cold water shock which can stop even strong swimmers.”