SWFRS Supports Campaign To Stay Safe In The Water This Summer
With over 400 deaths a year in the UK caused by drowning, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) is supporting Drowning Prevention Week, a national campaign by the Royal Lifesaving Association (RLSS). The campaign runs from 18th to 26th June 2016 and hopes to reduce the number of water related injuries or death.
Over the course of the campaign, SWFRS will be working with partners such as RLSS and the RNLI to educate people, of all ages, on water safety. With warm summer temperatures it can be tempting to swim or cool off in rivers, estuaries, reservoirs and the sea; however SWFRS hopes to raise awareness of the dangers of inland and coastal waters.
Drowning is recorded to be the third highest cause of death in children, with incidents falling into four categories:
- Deliberate water entries for self-harm reasons
- Accidental falls
- People who are under the influence of alcohol or substances
- People who are using the water to cool off or for unauthorised recreational purposes
Station Commander Justin Jones said, “Over recent years South Wales Fire and Rescue Service has seen a significant increase in the amount of water rescues attended. With the fast approaching summer holidays, we expect to see a vast increase in the amount of people visiting our Welsh waters for recreational use which poses a potential risk as not everybody is fully aware of the dangers associated with water.
We fully support the Drowning Prevention Week campaign and will be working with our partners, including the RLSS to ensure the safety messages are shared far and wide so that we continue to keep our communities safe.”
To stay safe in and around the water this summer, the Service is sharing the following top tips:
- Respect the water – whatever your activity and your ability, the water can always catch you out as it’s easy to underestimate its power
- Stay safe by spotting the dangers, you may swim well in a warm indoor swimming pool but that does not mean you will able to swim in the cold water of seas, rivers or reservoirs
- Don’t ignore safety advice, special flags and notices are there to warn you of any dangers. Know what each sign means and what they’re telling you to do
- Never swim alone as if you get into danger in open water, there’s someone who can get help. Children should always be accompanied by an adult
- Know what to do in an emergency – if you see someone in difficulty, tell somebody, preferably a lifeguard if there is one nearby or ring 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service or Coastguard
To coincide with Drowning Prevention Week, the Cardiff Water Safety Partnership has been formed to address the issue of water safety within the city. The group currently consists of representatives from the RLSS, RNLI, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, South Wales Police and the City of Cardiff Council’s Harbour Authority and Neighbourhood Partnership teams.
The campaign will be running in schools across South Wales, especially those that have a high risk of water related injuries.
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