RESIDENTS are being warned to be careful around water, as the weather forecast predicts high temperatures over the next few days.

The Environment Agency (EA) says young people are risking their lives by jumping in rivers.

The Government body is raising awareness of the hidden dangers in the water.

Last year, the National Water Safety Forum reported 223 deaths from accidental drowning or natural causes in UK waters.

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The EA says that drowning can occur very quickly, even in shallow water, and the key to keeping safe is to take all necessary precautions to avoid getting into difficulty in the first place.

Russell Robson, River Thames operations manager for the EA, said: “One of the main risks is cold-water shock, causing you to breathe in water, weakening your muscles, and causing immediate heart problems.

“Unseen currents and reeds beneath the surface can pull you under and I’d urge parents and guardians to supervise younger children closely in and around water.

“Teenagers and young adults should be warned of the dangers and to remember some basic safety points when out having fun.”

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The EA warns people to not jump or dive in to waters, as the depth may vary and there can be unseen hazards.

It also warns to keep a look out for boat traffic, as boaters, especially on larger vessels, can find it very hard to spot swimmers.

The EA manages locks, weirs and many bridges along the non-tidal River Thames.

Temperatures this weekend are set to hit highs of 30 degrees tomorrow and Saturday.

The forecast remains high next week, however with thundery showers.