Drowning Prevention Week is from 12th - 19th June.
This campaign is run by Royal Life Saving Society UK - RLSS UK and is supported by a wide range of organisations including the Royal National Lifeboat Instituion (RNLI), the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) the emergency services and industries such as the water utilities and quarrying.
Please follow the link to the campaign’s website – the powerful video ‘The Families’ Stories’ illustrate why these messages are so important.
It is important to raise public awareness of the potential hazards associated with open water so that water-based activities can be enjoyed safely. The goal of the RLSS is to halve the number of accidental drownings that occur annually as outlined in the ‘UK National Drowning Prevention Strategy’.
Drowning is responsible for more deaths in the UK than fires.
Raising awareness of water safety is especially relevant now due to the combination of factors that have led to an unprecedented number of people seeking attractive, outside venues with water. The unfortunate combination of factors include; the recent easings of COVID restrictions, the unusually warm weather, young people, especially those in mid-teens to mid-twenties, looking for things to do, many parents returning to work and less able to supervise older children, limitations on peoples’ ability to travel and the majority of traditional leisure facilities being closed.
The overriding concern is the accompanying increased risk of injury or a fatality.
The water at these sites on a hot day may look very alluring and tempt people to swim or engage in other water-based activities. Unfortunately, in many cases, the water can conceal a range of hazards that people do not understand even though there are warning signs. These hazards include very deep and cold water, sudden changes in depth, underwater pumps and currents, concealed obstacles and vegetation beneath the water and in some cases, pollution or high alkalinity. Sadly, every year members of the public, particularly young men, drown in quarry lakes whilst engaging in what they perceive as harmless fun. Sadly, too often, this can turn to tragedy.