The National Water Safety Forum have last week published their annual report of water based fatalities in the UK. 2020 saw 631 deaths, 242 of which were recorded as accidental
Once again the highest proportion of casualties were male (199/242) and proportionately a higher % of lives were lost inland rather than on the coast/ at sea. A high number of casualties had alcohol/ substances in their body.
COVID-19 impact hasn’t been fully analysed …however the following facts are true and undoubtedly contributed…..
The Coastguard were extremely busy during summer 2020 and recorded their highest number of call outs ever on August 8th
The number of people that took up outdoor swimming and paddle sports (eg kayaking and SUPB) whilst pools and gyms were closed rose rapidly and many of those did not have tuition, nor use the appropriate equipment
the hot summer weather as lockdown lifted and there were no foreign holidays, people flocked to the coast and beaches were packed, whilst many of the local attractions and amenities remained closed
The National Water Safety Forum are concerned about the potential for high numbers to be repeated in 2021 and have issued both warnings and advice about water safety as part of a call by over 50 organisations to #RespectTheWater
Please take care and understand the risks …we want everyone to enjoy being in, on and by the water in the UK .