EAST Lancashire’s water supplier United Utilities has warned people not to swim in reservoirs or quarries this summer.

The company, which owns more than 180 reservoirs across the north west, said people should not swim in unsupervised inland water during warmer weather because they would risk becoming a ‘fatal statistic’.

The supplier said that ‘most accidental, water-related deaths occur in May’ and are ‘likely to take place on a Sunday’, according to the latest available figures which were released last year.

It comes as the weather looks set to warm up again towards this weekend.

In 2012, a 15-year-old drowned after getting into difficulty while swimming in Chorley.

Tom Barton was with five friends at a lodge in Yarrow Valley Country Park when the incident took place.

Mark Byard, United Utilities’ health and safety manager, said: “It is a real tragedy that people have lost their lives in UK inland waters.

“One of the main reasons for this is that places like reservoirs are often in attractive settings and on the surface look safe, but the reality is that they are incredibly dangerous.

“Although it may seem fun, ignoring the signs and swimming in reservoirs is not a game — it carries a serious risk.

“We urge people to stay safe and stay out.”

Safety threats include the low temperature of the water, how deep it is, algae and hidden obstacles.

According to the figures, which are part of a ‘Water Incident Database Report’, there were 371 accidents across the country in 2012.

The majority of deaths after the accidents involved males aged between 20 and 24 and 60 and 64.

Last year, bosses at Jamestone Quarry, off Grane Road, Haslingden, stepped up security to prevent an ‘inevitable tragedy’.

For more information on water safety, visit www.unitedutilities.com/reservoir-safety