Drowning Prevention Campaign Launched

20th April, 2017

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is backing a national campaign aimed at reducing the number of people who drown every year.

The Be Water Aware campaign runs for a week from April 24 and aims to raise awareness of the dangers of everyday activities near water after statistics show that nearly 50% of people who accidentally drown in the UK never intended to enter the water.

Statistics show that in the UK in 2015, 321 people died after tripping, falling or simply underestimating the risks associated with being near water.

"Many people will be shocked to hear that a quarter of drownings involve people who just happen to be near water such as runners, walkers and fisherman,” said James Bainbridge, a member of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service’s prevention team.

“Something as simple as taking your dog for a walk carries a degree of risk if your walk is close to water. By highlighting risks like this we hope to reduce the number of needless deaths," he added.

In Shropshire the number of drownings has been falling steadily in recent years thanks largely to regular water safety campaigns run by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and Police.

“The fire service has successfully reduced the number of fire deaths by focussing on prevention work and we want to apply the same approach to tackling drowning. During the Be Water Aware campaign we will be posting advice and guidance on social media using the hashtag and we would like people to spread the safety messages by sharing the posts,” James Bainbridge said.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), a body made up of all chief fire officers in the UK, aims to reduce the number of drownings in UK waters by 50% by 2026.

Ends

 

Press Calls to:

Malcolm Stevenson

Corporate Communications Officer

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service

Direct Line:    01743 260470

Mobile:           07967 465870