London weather: Hottest day of the year in UK as fire brigade issues heatwave swimming warning

Londoners have been warned about the potential dangers of swimming in the capital’s waterways as temperatures continue to climb and the UK recorded its hottest day of the year on Tuesday.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) has responded to more than 30 incidents involving people in the water, with concerns the number could spike amid the mini-heatwave.

Teenage boys are "overrepresented" in UK drowning statistics and the end of GCSE exams could see more people in the water, an LFB spokesperson told the BBC.

Craig Carter, LFB's assistant commissioner for prevention and protection, said: “While it might be tempting to go into water to cool off from the heat, we’re asking people to think carefully.

“Despite the warm weather, London’s waterways are still cold enough to put a person into cold water shock which can affect anybody, no matter their fitness."

St James's park in London on Tuesday (AP)
St James's park in London on Tuesday (AP)

It comes as London was hotter than Ibiza and Barcelona on Tuesday with temperatures in the capital predicted to hit 30C.

The Met Office has said there will be constant sunshine in the capital on Tuesday.

The UK’s hottest temperature of the year so far was recorded in Chertsey, Surrey, where the mercury reached 30C.

This was predicted to be matched in London where temperatures were expected to climb to a maximum of 30C around 5pm or 6pm in London, making the capital around five degrees hotter than Ibiza and four degrees hotter than Barcelona.

London was predicted to be warmer than many of Europe’s top holiday destinations including Mallorca’s Palma, and Marseille.

The capital swelters in a mini heatwave (AP)
The capital swelters in a mini heatwave (AP)

The Met Office said the hottest temperature recorded on Monday was 28.3C in Wisley, Surrey, the previous hottest day of the year so far, with more warm weather and likely heatwaves forecast for parts of the UK this week.

Temperatures in London are expected to hit peaks of 31C on Wednesday, with much of south-east England basking in the mid-20s for the first half of the week.

It marks a break from the rainy spring, which saw 32 per cent more rainfall than the average in England and Wales, according to the Met Office, and hampered businesses reliant on tourism or high street foot traffic.


The LFB has also issued a warning around the fire risks posed by barbeques as the temperatures rise.

Mr Carter added: “We know many Londoners will want to enjoy the nice weather by visiting a park or open space.

"However, we’re asking people not to take disposable barbecues with them as they can cause grass fires, especially in hot weather when the ground is dry."