No swimming sign

We want everyone to enjoy visiting our Water Parks and most importantly we want you to stay safe.

Swimming in reservoirs is dangerous. These are operational sites and even the strongest swimmers can get into serious difficulties.

Reservoirs are incredibly deep in places, but very shallow in others - particularly as water levels drop over the summer - making jumping in or swimming extremely dangerous. 

Even in a heatwave, the water temperature stays very low and can cause shock or hypothermia. Plus the water hides other dangers such as machinery, sudden dips and drops, weeds and mud, and very strong currents created by the changing depths and continuous pumping of water.  

The risks include:

  • Uneven depths and very cold water, which can send the body into shock in seconds
  • Cold Shock - it can happen at any time of the year. When you jump, dive or fall into cold water, there is an involuntary ‘gasp’ response as the water hits your skin – you will not be able to control your breathing. During Cold Shock your blood pressure rises and heart rate increases, most people, even the best of swimmers, start to panic.
  • Hidden machinery - underwater pipework takes water out of the reservoir
  • Stone or concrete structures below and above the water
  • Strong currents
  • Steep, slippery banks
  • Underwater plants such as reeds and mud can trap swimmers
  • Remote locations with poor or no mobile phone coverage, and lack of immediate assistance

Anyone ignoring the warning is risking their life, as well as those of others who may come to their aid.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK has provided their advice on staying safe around water:

  • Don’t swim at unsupervised, un-lifeguarded sites including lakes, quarries, reservoirs and rivers
  • Don’t jump into water from heights or ‘tombstone’
  • Don’t swim into deep water which will be colder
  • Do swim at supervised, lifeguarded sites
  • Do look for signs and advice about the specific dangers at the place where you are considering swimming
  • Do think about what you will do if something goes wrong

From time to time our reservoirs are venues for planned water-based events such as the Great East Swim and triathlons, which are run by independent companies. These events are carefully arranged, take place in specific parts of the reservoir and have safety experts and emergency services on hand should anyone get into difficulties. 

Anyone wanting to try open water swimming or cool off this summer can do so safely at a lifeguarded or supervised site, or at the specifically designated beach area at Rutland Water where highly trained lifeguards are on duty.  

We want everyone to be able to enjoy our water parks and most importantly to stay safe.

If you are visiting our water parks you can read our byelaws in full below.

Water Parks byelaws 2014