The public is being urged to "respect the water" as latest statistics show accidental drowning deaths increased again last year.

Greater Manchester had nine deaths last year which were related to accidental drowning.

Across the UK, there were 277 deaths in 2021 across inland and coastal locations, which is an increase of 23 from 2020.

Following this concerning figure, the National Water Safety Forum are reminding people that if they get in trouble in water they should lean back and use their arms and legs to help keep float and control breathing before calling for help or swimming to safety.

If people see others in trouble they should call 999 or 112.

If you are at the coast ask for the coastguard, if you are inland, ask for the fire service.

A new campaign #Respectthewater by National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) will be launching in July ahead of World Drowing Prevention Day.

Dawn Whittaker, CEO of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and NWSF chair, said: “The pandemic continued to present considerable challenges at our coastal and inland waterways last year as more people had staycations.

"The #RespectTheWater campaign is designed to help prevent further deaths and injuries in water.

“We urge the public to understand the dangers, to learn the importance of knowing how to float to live, and to call 999 if others are in trouble and if there is a water related emergency.

“We have seen increased numbers participating in water sports and water-based activities and consequently a rise of the number of incidents associated with activities such as stand-up paddle boarding and open water swimming.

"We want people to enjoy the water safely, so we will continue to focus on guidance, education and awareness for the public.

“We will continue to work together to reduce deaths caused by drowning and water related injuries in the UK, and endeavour to reach our collective goal of halving accidental drownings in the UK by 2026.

"The global water safety community is onboard with a UN resolution recognising the scale and burden of drowning, calling for urgent international action.”

United Utilities said reservoirs can be extremely dangerous with deep water and steep sides making it difficult to get out.

There are also strong currents caused by the machinery under the water and the reservoirs are also very cold which can cause shock.

A United Utilities spokesperson said: “While reservoirs are wonderful places to visit for a picnic or walk, they are one of the worst possible places to take a swim.

"As well as dangerous hidden machinery under the surface, cold water shock can kill even strong swimmers in just 60 seconds.

"Please don’t take the risk, keep out of the water.”