Jumping into cold water can kill you

If the weather's hot and you're thinking about swimming in the river, or any other water, please make sure you know what the dangers are.

The shock of jumping into cold water can kill you - it's as simple as that. So please think twice.

Cameron's Story

There is also a Dying to be Cool: Cameron's Story - video transcript [PDF, 56kb]

If you are having problems watching this video (for example if you're viewing from an Apple device) you can watch it directly on Durham Council's YouTube channel.

Cameron Gosling was a 14 year old pupil at Parkside Academy in Willington Durham, when he went swimming with his friends in the River Wear near Bishop Auckland.

While his friends paddled in the river and acclimatised their bodies, Cameron jumped in. The cold water shocked his body and, despite his friends trying to save him, Cameron drowned.

Dying to be cool review video

Dying to be cool review video transcript [PDF, 54kb]

Make sure this doesn't happen to you

Cameron's friends and family want to spread the word about cold water shock to try and make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else.

What is cold water shock?

When you're suddenly immersed in cold water, your body reacts involuntarily.

It can cause blood vessels in your skin to close making it harder for blood to flow around the body. Your heart then has to work harder and your blood pressure increases. In the worst cases you could even have a heart attack. 

There's also a "gasp" response which means you could breathe in water. The rate you breather can go up by as much as ten times.

All these reactions mean you can panic, get into difficulty and drown. Watch the video below for information.

There is also a Water safety video transcript [PDF, 58kb]

If you are having problems watching this video (for example if you're viewing from an Apple device) you can watch it directly on Durham Council's YouTube channel.

Making Darlington Safer