Shock tactics are being used in a desperate bid to get home to people the dangers of open air swimming this summer.

They come in the form of a frank and distressing account of what happens by Peter Faulding, chief executive officer of Specialist Group International which is commissioned by all the police forces in the south east to find and recover people who have vanished under water.

He said: A diver goes out on a safety line and is usually working in near zero visibility using their hands to feel their way around in the silt. The first we know when we find someone is placing a hand on their shoulder, then you see their staring eyes.

"The divers have to then swim with the drowned person back to the water’s edge where they are placed in a body bag in the water before being placed on the bank.

“They are then laid in a forensic tent and we wait for the coroner to arrive.

“There is no dignity in drowning.”

In 2018 two young men died within weeks of each other in the fast flowing, deep and freezing water of the Jubilee River as temperatures soared. Three years before, Langley’s Michael Scaife drowned in the same river but further up stream in Datchet.

The tragic death of 13-year-old Kyrece Francis swimming in the Thames in Marlow in 2014 was another heartbreaking warning of the dangers.

Mr Faulding said people feel they are able to swim in open water but the cold temperatures can zap their energy and they suffer cold water shock. By the time they have reached the middle of the expanse swimmers can be exhausted, gasping for breath, swallowing water until they sink below the surface.

Cllr Natasa Pantelic, Slough Borough Council cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “There are also other dangers of the fast flowing water by weirs and bacteria in the water which an lead to illnesses

“However hot it gets please don’t go into any body of water as it can so easily lead to tragedy.”

A third of deaths happen in the summer with the highest proportion of drownings occurring in people who are aged between 20 and 29 years old.