Day 2 of the 2019 #BeWaterAware campaign and today’s focus is runners and walkers because they are consistently the group most at risk of accidental drowning as such a high proportion of accidental drownings in the UK each year are the result of dog walkers, runners or even kids on a family walk near water that accidentally slip or fall in.
Often solitary – two-thirds of analysed coastal walking fatalities were alone at the time of the incident, Runners often distracted by their activity and may not notice the hazards
Lack of awareness of risks of being near water – they don’t realise drowning could affect them
They are not prepared to enter the water, so are likely to wearing clothing not suitable for the water. Water in the UK to remains cold even on very warm days and this leads to cold water shock.
This figure will also include those people making their way home after nights out. Alcohol and/or drugs can be a factor as people are not only more likely to take risks when under the influence of these substances they then have reduced motors skills if they enter the water. It is believed pre- existing medical conditions can also play a part in drowning (either as a reason for entering the water or not being able to self rescue)
if you are walking your 🐕 near water…keep them on a lead as many people have drowned trying to safe their pets
If you are walking with young children, keep a close eye on them, unfortunately they are more likely to run off and trip in as they get close to water edges.
Be aware and take notice of any warning signs at the water side
Make sure your walk or run is appropriate for your fitness level even if you are just taking a leisurely stroll . Consider joining a running or walking group
When running or walking next to water, stay clear of the edges as river banks and cliff edges may be unstable and give way – particularly after bad weather
Wear appropriate footwear and clothing – even if you are just going to stretch your legs
Make sure you know exactly where you are – consider something like an OS locate app for a smart phone or a map. Take a fully charged mobile phone and check signal strength, know how to use it and who to call in an emergency (999 and Fire or Coastguard (at the coast)
Look out for trip or slip hazards – pay attention to your footing and Stick to proper pathways
Don’t assume just because you have walked or run a route many times before it is still safe
Avoid walking or running near water in the dark.
We do not want you or any of your family to become a 2019 statistic, so please enjoy the countryside safely and #BeWaterAware