The sun has come out at last. But we must stay safe while keeping cool in the hot weather.
With the arrival of our summer weather it is tempting to cool off by taking a dip in the sea.
However, plunging into the sea during hot weather can cause heart attacks even in the young, fit and healthy person.
Research suggests that entering cold water suddenly without acclimatising can cause abnormal heart rhythms which can be fatal.
Several people have died recently after going into the water in the recent heatwave although the cause of death in these cases is unknown.
Professor Mike Tipton runs the Extreme Environments Laboratory at the University of Portsmouth. He said entering cold water should be done with caution.
He has also said: “As the recent sad spate of immersion deaths confirm, we have entered the most dangerous time of year for water-related deaths.”
“As air temperatures rise dramatically, people start to go into water that remains dangerously cold.”
“The body’s responses to immersion in cold water are profound, uncontrollable and can result in drowning and heart problems within seconds.”
A study published in the Journal of Physiology by Professor Tipton and Professor Mike Shattock of King’s College London explains how rapid submersion in cold water, combined with holding your breath automatically activates two powerful responses in the body which may interact and cause conflict for the heart.
Professor Tipton said: “Those wanting to enter the water should do so in a slow and controlled fashion to minimise these hazardous responses.”
By all means enjoy our wonderful coastline and all it has to offer but stay safe while keeping cool in the hot weather.