Day 2 #BeWaterAware 2020

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Today the campaign focuses on activities near water as more than 50% of people who drowned in 2018, did not expect to enter the water.
Some of these deaths are due to intoxication on nights out, however, many people were just undertaking everyday activities near water such as running, walking, exercising a dog or fishing.

The aim of our campaign is simply to increase awareness of the everyday risks in, on and around water

Why…..well because if people are not anticipating entering the water, they would not reasonably be expected to be prepared and won’t be wearing a life jacket and possibly are not wearing the appropriate clothing.

Water in the UK remains cold, even on very warm days and sudden immersion can lead to cold water shock, which can cause gasping and intake of water and is a common factor in drowning in UK if people don’t know how to deal with it and acclimatise their bodies

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, but they may also have reduced Levels of perception and 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)

Behaviours:
Often solitary – two-thirds of analysed coastal walking fatalities were alone at the time of the incident.

Runners are often distracted by their activity, maybe with headphones and may not notice the hazards of slippery or eroded paths

We know that risk taking…dares, jumping from height (tombstoning) is also a factor in drownings, particularly amongst young males, with poor understanding or risk perception. Even if they don’t drown, many incurring injuries.

Safety Advice:
Make sure your walk or run is appropriate for your fitness level even if you are just taking a leisurely stroll, maybe consider joining a running or walking group.

Be aware and take notice of any warning signs….they are there for a reason.

When running or walking next to water, stay clear of the edges

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

Take a fully charged mobile phone and check signal strength, and know who to call in an emergency (999 Fire and Rescue for inland or Coastguard at the coast)

Make sure you know exactly where you are – consider something like an OS locate app for a smart phone or a map

Don’t leave your mates on the way home from a night out….make sure everyone gets home.

Dares can be disastrous, if you care about your friends don’t get them to do things that could harm them, that’s not being a mate.

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