Drowning in the UK is one of the leading causes of accidental death, therefore Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC’s) drowning prevention and water safety campaign ‘Be Water Aware’ which runs from April 23 to 29.
DFRS Station Manager, John Cooke, said: “Each year more than 300 people drown after tripping, falling or just by underestimating the risks associated with being near water and many more people are left with life changing injuries in water related incidents.
“DFRS will be raising awareness of the risks associated with being near open water. Throughout the week Firefighters and Community Safety Officers will be attending Derby University, Trent Lock and Mercia Marina highlighting these dangers so people can enjoy the water safely and not end up as one of these shocking statistics.”
NFCC’s Water Safety Lead, Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whittaker, 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.”
Ahead of what promises to be a hot and sunny weekend, DFRS would like to remind people about the following water safety advice.
If you are going for a walk or run near water stick to proper pathways and stay clear of the water’s 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.
To stay up to date with everything the service is doing to support the NFCC’s drowning prevention and water safety campaign and for valuable prevention advice, follow them on @DerbyshireFRS, Facebook at DerbyshireFRS and Instagram @derbyshirefrs.