Posted: Monday 24th April 2017
Did you know that nearly 50% of people who accidently drown in the UK never intended to enter the water? Or that runners and walkers are the group most at risk of drowning?
In fact, Latest statistics show that in 2015, 321 people died after tripping, falling or simply underestimating the risks associated with being near water.
That’s why we’re supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Water Safety and Drowning Prevention campaign - Be Water Aware, which is running from 24 - 30 April.
Area Commander Steve Holton said: “Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happen to be near water such as runners, walkers and fisherman. They are unaware of the risks and are totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them we hope to reduce the number of these needless deaths.”
Firefighters across the county will be out and about spreading water safety messages and giving advice on how to stay safe around water.
Messages will be posted on social media using the hashtag #BeWaterAware and people are encouraged to share the posts to spread the message.
Top safety tips
- When running or walking next to water, stay clear of the edges
- River banks may be unstable and give way
- Wear appropriate footwear and clothing
- Take a fully charged mobile phone and check signal strength, know how to use it and who to call in an emergency
- Look out for trip or slip hazards - pay attention to your footing
- Stick to proper pathways
- Don't walk or run next to water if levels are high
- Make sure you know exactly where you are - consider something like an OS locate app for a smart phone or a map
- Don't assume just because you have walked or run a route many times before it is still safe.
- Avoid walking or running near water in the dark