As another heavy storm has battered the country over the last 48hrs …I wanted to just comment on the work many of been doing this bank holiday weekend….sometimes it just needs saying….
whilst I know there is coverage in the press and the emergency services photo is always a must on the front cover of the paper and actually they are just doing their jobs ….what is sometimes not acknowledged is that whilst some families have been visiting relatives, enjoying their extended bank holiday weekend ….the hospitals, care homes, fire service, police, ambulance services, search and rescue teams…utility companies…etc have all been fairly busy managing the impacts of Katie…some of them voluntarily…and some not due to be on duty, but voluntarily as they saw the need.
sometimes it just needs saying….
When I was young, it’s a while ago, i remember taking my cycling proficiency test in school and watching Tufty the squirrel tell us about road safety. I remember learning about fire safety, how to use a fire extinguisher and nagging mum to buy a fire blanket…something that came in useful when I was 9yrs old, but that is a different story. What I do not recall is receiving any input at home or at school about water safety…sure I went to school swimming lessons in a nice warm pool in Lampeter, I even got some lovely badges to sow on my swimming towel, but nothing about the risks in open water.
I know I am not alone…..and sadly not a lot has changed. Whilst it does exist on the educational syllabus at Key Stage 2, many children in the UK ( over 40%) leave primary school not being able to swim and with NO knowledge of the risks of open water at all. This is something we HAVE to change….
My role brings me into contact with parents and families who have lost loved ones in water. After it happens, apart from the obvious devistation, many parents in particular have expressed a guilt….a guilt for not having warned their child…many are now campaigning and lobbying for more awareness…don’t let that happen to your family.
This year the Chief Fire Officers Association (@CFOAfire ) will be campaigning in the week comm 25April, the Royal Lifesaving society ( RLSS) will be campaigning in June, the Royal National Lifeboat Association (RNLI) will be campaigning all summer…ROSPA, the Royal Society for the Protection against Accidents also have a lot of information on their website.
Find out what information your school, college, university are giving your children and young adults and have a look at the information or the organisations above to get more information….make sure you do all you can to keep your family safe and #bewateraware
Anyone involved in water safety or drowning prevention dreads reading of the next water related death ….. we empathise with the community, family and friends that will be impacted and whose lives will change.
All life is precious ….but it is particularly poignant when children are lost…so many lost opportunities and missed moments of joy.
This weekend saw the loss of two year old twins, the Scott brothers in Scotland in a tradgic accident at their home…..my thoughts are with their parents, family, friends and community. They need time and space to grieve…and support, but they are having to deal with their loss in the midst of the media interest, HSE and investigation….thrust into the public eye for all the wrong reasons……so hard.
We are all determined to achieve a future without drowning….to educate, raise awareness, improve safety….but all organisations have a responsability to do that respectfully and with regard for families that have suffered this sort of loss….and be mindful not to exploit a tradgic situation to promote a cause…..it’s a fine balance and one that requires sensitivity and integrity…
Representatives of RNLI, CFOA and RLSS are supported by former Olympic swimmer Mark Foster and two special guests. Mothers Jackie Roberts (Megan’s mum) and Andrea Corrie (James’s mum) are hosted by DfT Minister of State Robert Goodwill MP
It has been a busy year getting to this moment and required significant energy and hard work of many…but on the 29th February 2016 saw the public launch of the above strategy.
The National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) is a collective of many clubs, organisations, charities …that have an interest in water. Some of those involved train lifeguards, some involved in water sports and leisure, some are local authorities, some promote swimming, some perform rescues from water, some aim to reduce accidents…ALL want to ensure that people enjoy the water safely.
A good strategy is based on facts and data, understanding risk and and research….this one is…WAID is a database that draws information from many sources and through the NWSF provides a public annual report of the fatalities in UK waters every year. You maybe shocked to learn that drowning in the UK accounts for more accidental deaths than fire deaths in the home or cycling deaths on roads…..around 400 people a year….think about that….it equates to one person every 20hours.
there is lots to do….but we now have a platform to work from…if you are interested, please go to http://www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk