Three people have died on beaches in southern France as Europe finds itself in the grip of heatwave hell.
Today has officially been recorded as the hottest day of the year so far, as a plume of North African air moving across Europe sends temperatures soaring.
The extreme weather is so far being held responsible for the deaths of three swimmers, who reportedly suffered from cold water shock.
Cold-water shock is the first stage of sudden immersion into water, usually with a temperature below 15C, and can instantly affect breathing and movement – even among strong and confident swimmers.
A 70-year-old man reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest in calm water, while a 62-year-old woman and another man, aged 75, died in similar circumstances, according to French news outlet LCI.
Meanwhile a 12-year-old girl died swimming in the River Irwell in Bury, it was confirmed on Friday.
“My son is dead, what else can I say?”
For Debbie Turnbull the deaths have brought back haunting memories.
Son Chris enjoyed swimming from a young age, having survived an armband mishap when he was just three-years-old and quickly becoming known as a “water baby”.
Despite being a strong swimmer, he tragically died when he was 15-years-old.
The teenager died of cold water shock after bing sucked down a 30ft cold whirlpool and under a waterfall in Snowdonia, North Wales.
The heartbreaking recent death of the young girl in the River Irwell as jogged painful memories for mum Debbie, 13 years after her son’s death.
With the weather set to attract more people to the water this weekend, she told The Mirror: “When I hear about stories like this it hurts. It brings what happened back all over again.
“Please teach your kids about the dangers of swimming in water. Speak to them now before it’s too late. Look at my website. Look at what happened to me and be extremely careful.
“I’m not there to spoil anyone’s fun. My son loved the water. My son is dead, what else can I say?
“I want parents to have these chats because I don’t want anyone to go through what I have been through.”
She added: “People throw rubbish away and there’s organic things growing underground. You have no idea what’s under the water. When you jump in, you just see a nice flat bit of water.
“It’s the same when people jump off rocks into the sea. You just see the sea below you and that’s called tombstoning and I think it’s a good name for it.
“There could actually be a rock where they land. People look down and think they will land in a certain spot but, unfortunately, you don’t because gravity pulls you back.
“The main reason people drown is cold water shock. The minute you hit the water, if it’s really, really hot outside, and it’s so cold that the actual shock makes you immediately inhale water.
“It’s a massive shock to the body. The longer you are in the water, and it’s so cold, the body tries to fight it. The body is being attacked and it starts to shut down.
“My son fought for his life but it was impossible. Because it’s so cold, you can’t move as fast. Your body becomes heavy, obviously, there’s the fear factor, and it’s just a complete body shock.
“Unfortunately, the loss of life happens within minutes.”
Debbie is now preparing for the 13th anniversary of Chris’ death in August and plans to scatter the remainder of his ashes in Angel Bay, Llandudno.