JUMPING into cold water this weekend could kill you, firefighters alerted.

Residents tempted by the hot weather to jump into lakes and rivers are being warned about the potential risks of open water.

Drowning is amongst the leading causes of accidental death in the UK, so chief fire officer for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service Rob MacDougall forewarned those trying to battle the heatwave how to stay safe.

He said: "As firefighters, we do not want to stop people enjoying our waters, but we do want to ensure they understand the dangers and behave as safely as possible.

"Even on a warm day, the temperature of a body of open water can remain very cold.

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"Jumping into water can result in a cold-shock response."

Fire crews also highlighted the dangers of swimming in rivers and reservoirs, which might look calm, but have strong currents below the surface.

Mr MacDougall added: "The advice is to expect the unexpected when you are in the water.

"The shock of cold water will make your muscles become weaker; and you may not be able to keep yourself afloat or pull yourself out.

"Your body will shiver, which will affect your swimming ability."