Welcome from the Chief
The time of year is once again upon us when the weather gets warmer, and everyone starts to relax and unwind for the summer.
As the temperatures start to rise, people start to enjoy the warmer weather by spending more time outdoors going swimming, camping and caravanning – and these activities can be associated with greater risks.
Fresh water swimming has grown in popularity over recent years, with people searching high and low to find the perfect, secluded swimming spot whether it be a lake, reservoir or river.
One person drowns every 20 hours in the UK and hundreds more suffer life changing injuries through near drowning.
Drowning Prevention Week, which takes place this month (18th – 26th June) aims to teach people how to stay safe near water.
A swimming incident at a waterfall in Llanberis just last year led to tragedy when two men lost their lives and another two men were taken to hospital.
Next month, we’ll be joining forces with the RNLI and other emergency services at a water safety information day being held at Plas Menai National Outdoor Centre in Caernarfon on the 13th of July. This event is part of Swim Safe, a free programme of outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for children, delivered in partnership between the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association), Swim Wales and the RNLI charity (Royal National Lifeboat Institution).
One of the biggest reasons for deaths by drowning is ‘cold water shock’, a danger not many people seem to be aware of, or fully understand. This is a constant problem in the UK, as inland water temperatures never get warm enough, and can cause us to lose our ability to swim and self-rescue.
These are some potentially lifesaving tips for swimmers to remember over the summer months:
- Be aware of your surroundings and take notice of any warning signs when out and about
- When running or walking next to open water, stay well clear of bank edges. They are often unstable and this can create slips, trips and falls
- Try to always walk or run with a friend
- Always let someone know where you’re going – take your mobile phone
- Learn swimming and lifesaving skills
Stamping out deliberate fires
With the lighter nights and warm weather upon us, I'm making an appeal to parents to be aware of the whereabouts of their children and help us to prevent deliberate fires.
Deliberate fires endanger lives the lives of the public and firefighters, they delay fire crews from attending genuine emergencies, and cost the Welsh economy millions of pounds.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has been working hard to drive down the incidence of all deliberate fires over recent years - but as the nights get lighter and the weather becomes warmer, there is often a rise in the number of deliberately set fires.
Driving down deliberate fires has involved a concerted effort through a variety of initiatives including partnership working with other agencies such as the work of the joint Arson Reduction Team with North Wales Police, youth engagement through the Phoenix, as well as a range of targeted safety campaigns.
Setting fires is a criminal offence and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is actively working alongside North Wales Police to combat deliberate incidents.
You can follow our campaign to reduce deliberate fires on our social media by following #helpstopdeliberatefires and on our website www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk . Also, take a look at our You Tube channel nwalesfireservice and watch the video 'A night to remember', which demonstrates the devastating consequences of deliberate firestarting.
Anyone with information on such crimes is advised to anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or contact 101.