Drowning prevention and water safety
As the weather gets warmer I'm sure plenty of you will want to
cool down, and what better way to cool down with than some cold
But with water comes danger, and that is why the Service is
supporting Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week from the
13-19th of April.
In the last four years the service has assisted in a numerous
rescues or evacuations of persons from water - reservoirs, lakes,
rivers and other inland water can put your life or the lives of
your loved ones at risk.
Even though inland bodies of water may look safe and inviting,
particularly on a warm day, there are hidden dangers below the
surface that could make you ill, cause you harm, or even worse -
could kill you.
This year's campaign is focusing primarily on the issue of cold
water shock, something that causes a number of fatalities every
year as young people - even those who are strong swimmers - are
unaware of the effect that it can have on their ability to swim in
No matter how warm the air is in April and May, inland bodies of
water are unlikely to have warmed up, and the shock of cold water
creates a physical response that can make it more difficult to
swim, and can even cause death.
Taking part in leisure activities in, and around, the water is
great fun, and the campaign is not about stopping people enjoying
this, but simply about raising awareness of the potential risks and
encouraging you to stay safe.
Here are the fatal five issues that surround inland waters:
1. Cold water shock - low water temperature can numb limbs and
2. Do you know what is in or under the water surface? There may
be entrapment hazards, pollution, etc.
3. Currents or water conditions - includes floods,unknown
depths, ice, riptides, eddies etc.
4. Alcohol consumption - don't swim if you have been
5. Swimming Competency - don't assume because you can swim in a
pool that you can deal with the challenges of open
This year's message is 'Tell a friend. Save a friend' and the
Service along with other partner agencies will be encouraging
people to share information about cold water shock and to be aware
of the risks around water.
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