Young actors could make waves in new water safety film

Ogden Reservoir in Halifax.
Ogden Reservoir in Halifax.

Film directors are scouring the region’s pool of young acting talent for Yorkshire Water’s new safety video.

The utility firm is searching for a youngster to star in the Cold Water Kills film which will highlight the risks of swimming in reservoirs during school summer holidays.

It will be filmed at Ogden reservoir in Halifax and feature dramatic recreations of firefighters rescuing someone who is drowning.

Young people aged between 13 and 17 will have to submit their own video as part of a competition to land the role.

Anne Reed, corporate social responsibility advisor at the firm, said: “The idea for our Cold Water Kills film is to showcase an acting talent who can engage young people about the risks of swimming in reservoirs.

“We advise applicants to be creative with their entry video and use numerous locations to help bring it to life, but we urge all filming to be done safely and we do not want any footage of people in water.

“A judging panel will then decide on the best one and invite that person to feature in our own shoot.”

The video should outline why they think swimming in reservoirs is bad and say how to resist peer pressure.

It must be no longer than two minutes and should not include footage of people in water.

Safety bosses are producing the film in partnership with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

They hope it will cut the number of tragic incidents at reservoirs, where temperatures can be as low as 12C.

Leeds Fire Station manager Ian Thompson said: “Too often in the past people have been drawn to the cooling waters on a hot day, only to find that they are simply not capable of functioning in the low temperatures encountered in the deeper water.

“Often this results in a call to the emergency services and in some instances with a fatal outcome.

“This initiative is a fantastic way of getting youngsters and their parents thinking about water safety.”

The call for a film to deter youngsters from swimming in reservoirs comes after firefighters carried out more than 100 water rescues in the last five years.

Reservoirs can be as deep as 50 metres and have strong undercurrents beneath the surface.

The final film will be released at the beginning of the school summer holidays.

To enter the competition, send videos to with a YouTube link.

The deadline for entries is June 28.