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This National Walking Month we’re reminding people to take care when walking near open water, as part of our ongoing drive to promote safety around the country’s many rivers, canals and lakes.

With milder weather and the extra Bank Holiday this month, more people enjoying outdoor activities such as walking, running and wild swimming, and it’s important to understand the risks and how to stay safe, especially when near to water.

Sarah Wilkinson, Head of Prevention at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said: “Across the Humber region we have a lot of natural and man-made areas of water, and it's essential that we continue to raise awareness of the dangers of being in or around water to prevent accidental drownings.

"Even the strongest swimmers can be endangered by the unseen hazards and cold-water shock. It's crucial that people know what to do in an emergency, including 'Floating To Live', and calling for help rather than attempting a risky rescue themselves. By being water aware, we can all help prevent needless tragedies and keep ourselves and others safe."

By following our safety tips, you can still enjoy the great outdoors safely:

  • 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

If someone is in trouble in water, call 999. At the coast ask for the coastguard. If you are inland, ask for the fire service. You should never enter the water to attempt a rescue.

Further advice can be found in our water safety area of our website, see below: