CHILDREN are being given a stern warning by water company United Utilities ahead of what is being dubbed ‘Stay Safe Sunday’.

Do not swim in reservoirs, quarries and other forms of unsupervised inland water or you could risk becoming a fatal statistic.

Based on latest official water fatality analysis, most accidental water related deaths occur in May and are likely to take place on a Sunday.

With this weekend also being a bank holiday, and for many people the official start of summer, the need for water safety warnings is clear.

Mark Byard, United Utilities’ health and safety manager, said: “It is a real tragedy that people have lost their lives in UK inland waters.

"One of the main reasons for this is that places like reservoirs are often in attractive settings and on the surface look safe. But the reality is that they are incredibly dangerous.

“Although it may seem fun, ignoring the signs and swimming in reservoirs is not a game, it carries a serious risk. We urge people to stay safe and stay out.”

Though it might be a warm day, reservoir temperatures rarely get above 10 degrees, even in summer. They are cold enough to take your breath away, make your arms and legs numb, and induce hypothermia.

Reservoirs are often extremely deep, with sudden drops you cannot see. There may also be hidden currents from water pipes below the surface.

Hidden dangers often lurk below the surface that could cause serious injury, from machinery for water treatment to broken glass and rubbish.

Algae can often build up at the water edge, producing toxins that cause skin rashes and stomach upsets.

For more information on water safety, visit