A DROWNING prevention charity has issued a warning as the six weeks summer holidays kick off.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK has appealed to people to take note of simple safety messages to avoid a repeat of last summer’s tragedies when more than 100 people lost their lives.

Director of lifesaving, Adrian Lole, said: “Last year saw a tragic amount of preventable deaths as people flocked to open water sites not suitable for swimming. These sites included rivers, quarries, lakes and reservoirs – all of which have many dangers including very cold water, currents, obstacles and uneven depths. They look so inviting but can be deadly.”

The most fatalities were men aged 20 to 24, followed by under 19-year-olds.

Advice includes: Don’t: • Swim at unsupervised in lakes, quarries reservoirs and rivers • Jump into the water until you have acclimatised to the water temperature • Jump into the water from heights • Swim into deep water Do: • Swim at supervised (lifeguarded) sites • Swim parallel with the shore • Swim with friends or family • Look for signs and advice about the specific dangers • Think about what you will do if something goes wrong • Contact a reputable outdoor pursuits centre if you wan more extreme activities