TWO men had to be rescued by firefighters after getting into difficulty while swimming at a popular beauty spot.

Crews were called to Eccleston Mere just before 7pm on Saturday (June 21). It is thought that both men had been attempting to swim out towards a buoy.

One firefighter entered the water with a length of rope while his colleague remained on shore to drag them to safety.

The two men were checked by paramedics before being taken to Whiston Hospital.

Eccleston station manager Dave Watson said: “We were called after reports of two men in the water in distress.

"Firefighters from Eccleston arrived and immediately deployed a rescue swimmer. The rescue swimmer found one male was in particular distress and struggling in the water and brought him to safety. The other swimmer, who had started to swim towards the shore and safety then showed signs of distress and was also brought to safety.

“During the summer it can be tempting to take a dip in open water to cool down, but you are putting yourself at risk.

“You do not know what obstacles are under the water which can catch your legs and arms. There are also other dangers.

“Water poses a range of dangers including cold water shock which can lead to the strongest swimmers getting into difficulty during the warm weather in the summer.

“All operational firefighters in Merseyside are trained in still water rescue for incidents in or near lakes, docks and canals.

“We would urge everyone to stay safe this summer whether on, in, or near water.”