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Being Water Aware

We’re supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) campaign to raise awareness of the risk of accidental drowning as we move into the warmer months with people more likely to be around the water.

Drowning is among the leading causes of accidental death in the UK and we want to make people safer by warning the about the dangers of being around the water, what to do if you fall in the water and how you can help someone who is in distress.

As lockdown is lifted, lots of people head towards water to spend time outdoors in the sunshine. The campaign focusses on keeping people safe around the water.

Following simple advice will help reduce the 223 accidental drownings reported in 2019 and the many more injuries, which can be life changing, following water related incidents.

The advice includes:

  • Never swim alone in case you need help
  • Don’t drink alcohol when undertaking water related activities, it impairs judgement and your ability to swim
  • Avoid walking routes near water if you have been drinking alcohol
  • Don’t dive or jumping straight into open water, this can cause potentially fatal cold water shock even on the warmest day
  • Actively supervise children in and around water - drowning can happen fast and silently
  • If you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, don’t panic, extend your arms and legs out and float on your back until the effect of cold water shock pass
  • Never enter the water to try and rescue someone, call 999 and ask for the Fire Service if inland and the Coastguard if you are at the coast

NFCC’s Drowning Prevention Lead Dawn Whittaker said: “We want people to enjoy spending time in and around water safely and that’s why we are asking people to be water aware. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them, we hope to reduce the number of these needless and preventable deaths.”

For more information visit the National Fire Chiefs Council website.