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Be Water Aware - NFCC Water Safety Week 2021

26 April 2021

As the current Covid-19 restrictions ease it is anticipated many people will head to coastal locations and inland water beauty spots.

Be Water Aware - NFCC Water Safety Week 2021

Moreover, with pubs now reopening, many of which are around waterways in town and city centres, a long hot summer awaits many drinkers. Sadly, evidence suggests that alcohol plays a large part in water related fatalities. Few people would think they might become a water incident statistic. But the fact is in the UK in 2019 more people died from accidental drowning than cyclists did on the road.

The National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Be Water Aware campaign runs from 26 April - 2 May.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) is taking part to encourage people not to be complacent when spending time in and around water. The aim is to encourage people to be safe by being aware of the risks. The region has all types of water from long coastlines and tidal rivers to marinas, lakes and docks - all of which can be potentially fatal.

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

The key points to consider are:

  • 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 os 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

Click for more water safety advice

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.”