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Fire Service urges public to be aware of risks of open water!

Published on Thursday, 26th April 2018

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is backing a national campaign aimed at reducing the number of people who drown every year.

The campaign ‘Be Water Aware ‘is run by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and aims to reduce the number of drownings in UK waters by 50 per cent by 2026. The week runs from the 23 – 29 April and hopes to raise awareness of the dangers of everyday activities near water after statistics show that more than 300 people drown after tripping, falling or just by underestimating the risks associated with being near water.

Talking about the campaign, Moreno Francioso, Community Fire Prevention and Arson Manager for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said:

“Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happen to be near water such as runners and walkers. They are unaware of the risks and are totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them, we hope to reduce the number of these needless

deaths.”

“To date in 2018, we have attended 13 water-based incidents, seven of which required a rescue. These included vehicles with people trapped or at immediate risk of entering water and persons trapped in water. Three of these incidents involved an animal rescue. While Warwickshire Fire and Rescue is always at hand to help those who get themselves into trouble, the best response is to ensure these incidents don’t happen in the first place.”

To help you stay safe we recommend taking the following steps:

  • If you are going for a walk or run near water stick to proper pathways and stay clear of the waters edge
  • Make sure conditions are safe, avoid walking or running near water in the dark, slippery or in bad weather
  • If you’ve had alcohol don’t enter the water, avoid walking alone and avoid routes near water
  • Never enter the water to try and help a person or animal – always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available
  • If you are spending time near water – whether at home or abroad make sure you are familiar with local safety information

If you do come across someone in the water, then please do not try to rescue them:

  • Call 999 immediately and ask for fire service and ambulance
  • Pinpoint your location as accurately as you can – look for landmarksbridges etc
  • If you don’t have a phone shout for help
  • Encourage the casualty to try and float on their back
  • If there is rescue equipment nearby throw it to them

Further water safety advice can be found here – http://rlss.org.uk/