POLICE are reminding people not to attempt to swim in lakes, quarries or any type of open water to cool off during the current heat wave.

Anyone keen to enjoy a swim is urged to visit a licensed pool or leisure centre with a lifeguard on duty - West Mercia Police officers have stressed.

The warning comes from officers in a bid to save lives.

A spokesman for the force said: "Water is often a lot colder than you think, quickly draining your energy. The body's first reaction when entering cold water is to take an involuntary intake of breath but instead of air, water is taken in to the lungs.

"Our area has a wide variety of lakes, quarries and waterways, all of which carry hidden dangers and with the summer holidays now upon us, this danger is only going to increase, with more and more people thinking that it's perfectly safe to swim in open water.

"Our advice to anyone considering going into the water is just not to do it."

For tips and advice visit www.rospa.com/leisure-safety/water/advice/children-young-people/.

If anyone does get into difficulty in open water call 999 immediately. Police advise onlookers not to make rescues attempts.