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Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week 2016

21st April 2016

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is joining with fire and rescue services across the UK supporting the Chief Fire Officers Association’s (CFOA’s) Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week 2016 which is taking place from 25th April- 1st May.

The campaign is raising awareness of the everyday dangers of being near water. 44%[1] of people who drowned in 2014 had no intention of entering the water. Trips, falls or underestimating the risks associated with being near water meant that 302 people lost their lives. Adhering to some simple safety advice can reduce your risk of ending up in the water. By asking people to ‘be water aware’ fire and rescue services aim to reduce the number of fatalities.

CFOA’s Water Safety Lead, Dawn Whittaker, said: “Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happen to be near water such as runners, walkers and anglers. They are unaware of the risks and 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.”

Fire and Rescue Services will be giving advice to people on what they should look out for and how to change their behaviour to minimise their risk of becoming one of these statistics.

In North Yorkshire we are supporting the week in the following ways:

  • Providing leaflets and advice at Ripon Marina, Cod Beck Reservoir, Richmond falls, Iron Bridge and Ellerton Lakes, and along the coast in Scarborough and Whitby
  • Giving schools talks about water safety
  • Giving talks at Selby College and York St John University

We have added some safety advice to our website here and will also be supporting the week via social media using the hashtag #BeWaterAware


[1] Fatality statistics from National Water Safety Forum’s (NWSF) Water Incident Database (WAID)


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