PEOPLE living in Tenbury and the Teme Valley are being warned about a risk that increases with the warmer weather.

Safety chiefs want greater awareness of the dangers of water.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is joining fire and rescue services across the UK in supporting The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Week – Be Water Aware.

Latest statistics show that, in 2015, 321 people died after tripping, falling or simply underestimating the risks associated with being near water.

The campaign is raising awareness of the everyday dangers of being near water, as statistics show that nearly 50 per cent of people who accidentally drowned in the UK had no intention of entering the water.

"Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happen to be near water such as runners, walkers and fisherman,” said Dawn Whittaker from the campaign.

“They are unaware of the risks and are totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them we hope to reduce the number of these needless deaths”.

Station Commander, Stuart Crebbin, of the Hereford and Worcester Fire Service believes that it is particularly important to make families aware of the dangers.

"We are keen to highlight water safety awareness to children, their parents and as wide a cross-section of the local community as possible,” he said.

“The strongest swimmers can find themselves in difficulty, as the cold water causes muscles to cramp. There is then a strong possibility that they cannot swim due to muscular cramps which can then lead to drowning."