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If you drink…you may sink

As we move into the final 3 days of the 2019 NFCC #BeWaterAware campaign and bank holiday our focus turns to a high risk group….young adult drinkers that have over indulged and ended up in the water

Earlier this year, NFCC wrote to all Universities in UK and set out Five Steps for them to consider :-
1. Universities should include in their student information and induction packs information about water safety and drowning

2. To ensure risk assessments of bodies of water within the university estates are undertaken with clear action plans in place to reduce risk.  RoSPA’s / RLSS document ‘water safety at inland waterways’ Provides good advice.
3. To engage with national awareness raising campaigns – there are several of these each year, including the RLSS UK ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ campaigns. Water safety campaigns from NWSF members run throughout the year. the 2019 dates for ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ are 12-19 September 2019 and 2-8 December 2019 .
4. Assess and communicate safe walking routes in the area after a night out and provide advice and guidance to students during Fresher’s week and during peak periods of risk such as Christmas parties, or post exams.
5. To consider making available student training for lifesaving, first aid and resuscitation skills. These are widely available and can be free through local responder agencies. RLSS, RNLI, Red Cross, St John Ambulance even your local ambulance service may offer these

Priority messages for young adults on a night out

🍷 Alcohol reduces inhibitions and can lead to risk taking behaviour
🍸 Alcohol will impair judgment and self control
🍻 Stay with your friends  and don’t wander off and Keep an eye on any friends who are worse for wear and make sure you help them home
🍹 Avoid walking near water even if the path is lit, you may not realise how unsteady on your feet you are
🚕 Make sure you store a taxi number in your phone and have some emergency money at home so you can pay. If the money is at home you can’t lose it or accidentally spend it….Plan how you are getting home before you start your night out

please don’t let a night out become your last one #BeWaterAaware



When away from home

We all look forward to holiday season …..and often holidays involve time by water…beaches, pools, harbours…rivers…it’s relaxing and fun…whether that is in the UK or abroad, near the coast or at inland beauty spots.

Lack of local knowledge about an area combined with a relaxed outlook can mean an increase risk of drowning and sadly every year British people die in water abroad

Advice for the beach
• Secluded beaches are not safe beaches – use a life guarded beach during patrolled hours. If you have children they will want to run and play…you need a second pair of eyes and it is important to remember that it is up to you to correctly supervise children not Lifeguards.

• Dress your children in something nice and bright/ distinctive – it is easier to keep an eye on them.
• Make sure your children know what to do, or where to go if they get lost – agree a meeting point. Many beaches have wristband systems that you can write your Mbl on in case families get spilt up on busy beaches.

  • Inflatables look fun…those big unicorns 🦄 and flamingos ….but they are not designed to be used on the sea and can quickly be carried out of safe depth by wind and tides.

• Check tides. These can changes at different times of the year – It might have been safe last time you holidayed here – doesn’t mean it is this time
• Be aware of rip tides and currents – they can drag you out to sea and are almost impossible to swim against –
• Look for safety information, this might be local signs or flags on display at the beach and obey them
• Never enter the water after drinking alcohol.

if you plan to take a boat trip, or hire a jet ski or get on a banana! ….please wear a lifejacket
Advice for the pool
• Alcohol should be avoided – never swim after drinking and don’t drink next to the pool – it is very easy to feel drowsy or fall asleep after drinking in the sun- you may not notice a child enter the water.
• Check the rules for pools before you go on holiday in some countries pools should be fenced off
• Don’t think arm bands or a rubber rings prevent drowning
• Clear trip hazards (such as toys) from around the pool
• Never leave a child unsupervised near or in a pool – not even for a second
• Don’t assume you will hear if there is a problem – children can slip below the surface silently
• Don’t assume because a hotel pool has an attendant or lifeguard you don’t need to supervise.

Have a fab holiday…just #BeWaterAware



Just going for a run…..

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)
Safety Advice:

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




It’s campaign week next week and NFCC and Fire and Rescue Services will be working with partners, families and charities to share water safety messages and statistics again to try and raise awareness of Drowning Prevention.

If you use Twitter you can go to the hashtag #BeWaterAware to see and share messages or follow East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service on Facebook.

we will focus on risk…and what to do if you find yourself in an unexpected situation.

please note that this campaign is largely focusing on people that create additonal risk for themselves…through taking actions that can lead to drowning…such as tombstoning, going in after excessive drinking, unsupervised young children….but we will also be considering the increasing number that take the their own lives


Call to Universities in UK


Below I am posting a list of names of University Students who have lost their lives in the last few years by drowning after a night out.

Please think for a moment about the impact on these families, their friends, their lecturers and do me a favour….share this message in an attempt to raise awareness…these brilliant and bright young people all had promising lives before them…they were enjoying the experience of Uni …sometimes in Cities they were not familiar with….they probably were all on their way back to their halls of residents or student houses and chose a route by water, they may have got separated from friends….

If only they had chosen another route….if only they had booked an Uber, ….if only they had not drunk so much…if only there had been railings, if only the lighting was better………..

IF ONLY …..will not change a thing, but education and awareness might and this month I am writing to every UK University Vice Chancellor to ask them to assist and to #BeWaterAware

My apologies if anyone reading this is impacted because they know one of these young people personally.
Daniel Williams – University of Reading – 2019
Tom Jones – University of Worcester – 2018
Charlie Pope – University of Manchester – 2018
Charlie Godfrey – University of Bath – 2018
Michael Turnball – University of Brighton – 2017
Ethan Philbrick – Exeter University – 2017
Ethan Peters – Univeristy of York – 2016
Caroline Everest – University of Sheffield – 2016
Sope Peters – University of Durham – 2013
Luke Pearce – University of Durham -2014
Euan Coulthard – University of Durham -2015
Chris Taylor – University of Bath – 2014
Megan Roberts – University of York – 2014


It’s campaign week …and as the university students celebrate end term….offices are celebrating Christmas parties and mates go out to enjoy a Christmas night out with pals….a few simple things

stick with your mates…don’t wander off  alone

dont pop down to river or canal side for a pee….too many slip in

avoid walking home by watersides after drinking alcohol

Stay safe and #BeWaterAware


Continue reading RLSS – DONT DRINK AND DROWN

Supporting Welsh Petition

It has been six of months since my last blog …but that is no reflection of the work that has been underway …

The launch of a petion in Wales has motivated me to address my blog sabbatical

The Carmarthenshire Water Safety Partnership has registered this petition with the support of a number of families to campaign for enhanced water safety education in schools in Wales.

Not only am I a Water Safety advocate, but I am also Welsh…and I was pleased to put  my name to the petition in Cardiff in September alongside partners from RNLI, RLSS, Dwr Cymru, Swim Wales, MPA and the Welsh Fire and Rescue Services.

Education is key to water safety…so please take a look and if you want to help. .go to and look for petition 1406…add your name and contribute to saving lives in the UK