The Humberside area is dominated by a long stretch of coastline and a large dangerous tidal river splitting it in two.
Follow this basic advice to stay safe in and around water, whether it be the sea, a lake, a river or reservoir:
If you are going out on your own, let someone know where you are going and when you are coming back
Obey any warning or safety signs
Look out for trip or slip hazards around water and stick to proper pathways
Remember river banks and cliff edges may be unstable and give way
Don’t fool around near water, especially if you have been drinking – look out for each other and raise the alarm if you see someone in trouble
What to do if someone falls into deep water
The first thing to do is call for help – straightaway. Call 999.
The emergency services will need to know where you are. Accurate information can save precious minutes. If you have a smart phone and have location services or map tools enabled this can help. If not, look around for any landmarks or signs – for example bridges may have numbers on them which can identify their location.
Don’t hang up – stay on the line but try and continue to help the person if appropriate.
When you have made this call shout for help from anyone who might be close by.
Human nature says you are likely to want to attempt to help while rescue services are on their way. Never, ever enter the water to try to save someone. This usually ends up adding to the problem.
If you go into the water you are likely to suffer from cold water shock which will leave you unable to help even if you are a strong swimmer.
Can the person help themselves? Shout to them ‘Swim to me’. The water can be disorientating. This can give them a focus. Keep any instructions short clear and loud. Don’t shout instructions using different words each time.
Look around for any lifesaving equipment. Depending on where you are there might be lifebelts or throw bags – use them. If they are attached to a rope make sure you have secured or are holding the end of the rope so you can pull them in.
If there is no lifesaving equipment look at what else you can use. There may be something that can help them stay afloat – even an item such as a ball can help.
If you manage to get the person out of the water they will always need medical attention – even if they seem fine, drowning can occur at a later stage if water has already entered the lungs.
The Safe Code
Keep your family SAFE around water, learn the code: