I know it’s never good when you have to start with an apology…but…I am afraid I missed writing a July blog…I do have a reason, I have been a bit busy with high rise buildings, but that does not mean that drowning prevention work has been neglected.
In July I attended the quarterly National Water Safety Forum meeting in London and also provided an written update to the NFCC Prevention Committee on the work of Drowning Prevention in Fire and Rescue Services…so lots has been happening. The next meeting of the NFCC Water Safety Board is coming up next week in Hampshire on the 17th and we are looking forward to a presentation from colleagues in Devon and Somerset of their new virtual reality drowning prevention film which we are hoping can be rolled out across uk FRS
August is an important month for Drowning Prevention in the U.K. as lots more people head on their holidays and get to the coast and camping sites and indeed enjoy water based activities….there is unfortunately also an increase in the number of water related incidents every year in this month and so far it’s true to form…I am still checking figures and statistics with other agencies at the moment, but I am aware of at least 8 fatalities in water so far this month on the South coast alone, several swimmers too which is unusual as the vast majority of people that drown in the UK are not those that intended to be in the water.
Put simply, I want people to enjoy the water…safely. This means people being aware of the risks and their own capability and also being aware of what to do when someone is in difficulty.
There are two pieces of work I want to bring to your attention
1. The recently published Swim England, swimming group report focused on improving swimming and water safety in schools. It makes interesting reading and 16 recommendations to Government …go to swimming.org to download the full report
2. The RNLI run a summer campaign every year called RESPECT THE WATER…it has focused historically on awareness raising about alcohol, cold water shock and safety…this year it’s called FLOAT and the campaign seeks to help you to know what to do if you get into difficulties….it focuses on fighting your instincts to try and swim out of difficulty, but rather to float, stay calm and seek help…check out the RNLI site and look for respectthewater.com
I will end there …but wish all my blog readers a safe and enjoyable summer holiday..remember to ensure you and your family are #bewateraware