1. Do it online
  2. Have Your Say
  3. My Durham

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  Icon for pdf Dying to be Cool: Cameron's Story - video transcript (PDF, 56.6kb) .

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

Cameron Gosling was a 14 year old pupil at Parkside Academy in Willington 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.

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.

Dangers of open water

There's more information about the dangers of open water and safety advice on the Stay safe in or near open water page.

Related information
Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Twitter Print this page