Water Safety in Milton Keynes
Water safety is an important topic within Milton Keynes and The Parks Trust is working with other interested bodies to promote safety for the many water bodies present here. Around 125 fatal drowning accidents occur at inland waterways every year. In almost half of those cases the persons involved did not actually intent to be in the water (source RoSPA).
It is not always obvious what lies beneath the surface of the water, including fast currents, litter, crayfish and hidden obstacles. Weirs and other structures pose their own dangers and can trap people in the recirculating current. In addition, water tends to stay cold even in summer and cold-water shock is a major factor in many fatal incidents.
For these reasons the simple message promoted by The Parks Trust and others is to stay out of the water and if you do find yourself unintentionally in the water to float on your back to survive (Ref RNLI Respect the Water Campaign). Swimming pools are the safest place to go if you want to swim.
Call the police on the non-emergency number (101) if you see people in the water as (in most cases) they are not supposed to be there. Call the emergency response number (999) if someone is in trouble as Bucks Fire & Rescue have a dedicated water rescue team.
Open water swimming is a recreational activity and when this does take place in water owned by The Parks Trust it will be a managed activity. Open water swimming sessions take place at Willen Lake South ran by Love Open Water. It should be stressed that this activity is fully managed and life-guarded so that it can be enjoyed safely.
Free or wild swimming where people swim in non-organised activities is not permitted by The Parks Trust in any of its water.