WITH temperatures expected to hit the high twenties today, a charity is urging people tempted to take a dip in open water to stay safe.

Forecasters predict that today may be the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures possibly reaching 34 degrees celcius in London, and the North-East being just a few degrees cooler.

The weekend is also forecast to be fine, which has prompted the Canal and River Trust - which looks after 316 miles of waterways and five reservoirs in the region - to issue a warning about water safety.

John Gibson, area operations manager for the Canal and River Trust said: “We’ve seen more people than ever relaxing and reaping the health benefits of spending time by water. "

He added: “We are welcoming people to the waterside but are particularly concerned about people enjoying a post-lockdown drink and then going for a dip, young people and children who could be unaware of the hidden dangers of swimming in our waterways.”