Danger loving swimmers who converged on Wraysbury Village to swim in one of its open lakes are putting their own and other peoples' lives in danger.

That is the message from the village's parish council chairman Margaret Lenton after a large group turned up the weekend before last to brave the lake off Douglas Lane.

Mrs Lenton, a former mayoress of the Royal Borough, has lived in the village with her husband - former councillor and mayor John Lenton - over 30 years and can remember six tragic deaths caused by people swimming in the lake.

She said: "It is very dangerous. A number of people have drowned there. It is 25 feet deep, very cold, there are branches and weeds that are very easy to get trapped in. I remember two young men went swimming and one died - his friend was completely traumatised."

Swimming in unsupervised public rivers and lakes is notoriously dangerous. Only last week a Syrian man died in hospital after trying unsuccessfully to rescue his friend after they had been swimming in a group at Lulle Brook, Cookham.

A week earlier the parents of a 20 year old boy who drowned in the Jubilee River near Datchet five years rescuing a friend in trouble, leant their support to a campaign to warn people of the dangers.

Mrs Lenton believes the unexpected flood of people who converged on the Wraysbury Lake had read an article listing good places to go 'rough swimming' in the area.

She said a gate had initially been put up to stop access to the lake after the incident before it was realised the site was a public footpath and could not be closed off.

She emphasised that swimming facilities in natural conditions were available in the area, supervised by professional life guards.