POLICE chiefs are warning locals not to swim in open water this summer because of hidden dangers that could lead to drowning.

In the last five years, police have attended 85 water rescues in South Yorkshire, including five drownings.

Inspector Richard Batty, from South Yorkshire Police, said: “Although the water might seem inviting, freezing temperatures, hidden currents and debris underneath the water can all pose grave dangers.

“The water can often be a lot colder than expected and swimming in freezing temperatures, even if the weather is warm, can affect your ability to swim and can soon mean you find yourself in some difficulty.

“With murky waters, it’s also unclear as to how deep a body of water can be. People can throw all sorts in rivers and reservoirs, from old bedding to car engines and this can cause severe injury, particularly if you’re jumping in from a height.

“Weeds can also grow underneath the surface, which can prove to be very dangerous and can lead to swimmers becoming tangled up in them."