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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Cumbria emergency services back United Utilities hard-hitting water safety video

Cumbria fire service and other 999 teams across the county are backing a film released today about the dangers of swimming in open waters.

Water safety video photo
The video warns about the dangers of swimming in lakes and reservoirs

The Not a Game film has been made by United Utilities to warn teenagers in Cumbria of the risks of swimming in reservoirs and other waters.

It is shot from the perspective of a teenage boy who decides to swim at a local reservoir, and it uses video gaming style graphics, culminating in images which show him getting into difficulties and subsequently drowning.

United Utilities' Cumbria catchment manager Paul Phillips, said: “If you lose a life in a computer game you just start again.

“But real life isn’t like that. By combining realistic footage of a drowning incident with gaming style graphics, we wanted to hit home the message to teenagers that swimming in reservoirs is no game. Far from being fun, it can be fatal and there are no second chances.”

Adrian Buckle, of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, said they had to respond to real tragedies like the one portrayed in the video every year.

“Unfortunately the hidden danger of deep cold water is not understood, even on a hot summer’s day the hazard remains,” he said.

“People entering the water are not only risking their own lives but members of the public who may try to help and members of the emergency services who respond to the incident.”

In the past four years, nine people have drowned in reservoirs and other bodies of water across the north west.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said they hoped the film would serve as a real warning to people.

Watch It's Not A Game below. Article continues below...


Derek Cartwright, director of emergency services, said: “We cannot stress enough about the dangers of swimming in open water.

“When we experience hot weather, 999 calls increase for incidents whereby people have either got injured jumping in the water or who found themselves in difficulty which can be life threatening.

“I personally dealt with an incident in 2008 when a man innocently went for a swim in a reservoir and after getting into difficulty, he sadly lost his life.

“Soon after, I unexpectedly received a heartfelt letter from his devastated wife thanking me for my efforts in trying to revive him. When we hear stories like this in the media, it is a stark reminder to us all that one misjudgement of potential danger can have shattering consequences.”

A competition to encourage school children in Cumbria to develop their own public safety awareness advert around the topic will be launched at a future date as part of the campaign.

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