EMERGENCY services attended a South Lakeland tourist hotspot to encourage water safety.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS), Bay Search and Rescue and the Coastguard paid a visit to Arnside yesterday to speak to members of the public.

The event at Arnside promenade, which also saw CFRS’s out-of-county boat team do some training in the estuary, was part of the National Fire Chiefs Council’s ‘Be Water Aware’ campaign being promoted this week.

Jamie Coward, CFRS service delivery station manager, said: “The moving sands out in the estuary - people can get into danger and it’s a rapidly-changing environment out there.

“It’s just raising the level of awareness of the tides, but also showcasing our resources to assist people if they do get into difficulties, and working in collaboration with our partners - the Coastguard and Bay Search and Rescue.

“The potential cold water shock if entering the water and getting into difficulty is very high this time of year, and we’re just asking people to be extra careful around water.”

Mr Coward also highlighted the dangers of quicksand and rapid tidal movements at Arnside.

“We’d like people to stay off the sand, not to venture out and put themselves in danger, because they can quite easily get cut off by the incoming tide,” he said.

“Locals are obviously aware of the dangers, it’s visitors who are unaware of the dangers, who just think it’s a stable surface to go and walk on, then get into difficulties.”

About 15 people from across the three organisations took part in yesterday’s event.

Mr Coward also said CFRS was short of on-call firefighters, with vacancies in the Arnside, Milnthorpe and Kirkby Lonsdale areas. He encouraged people to look on the fire service’s website for more information.