Water Safety: Drowning Prevention Week 2023

Published 19th Jun 2023

Fire Services across Yorkshire are encouraging schools to turn blue this June to help spread the message about water safety.

Supporting the annual Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Drowning Prevention week which this year runs from Saturday, 17 June until Saturday, 24 June, firefighters from across the county will be visiting schools to demonstrate the importance of water safety.

Firefighters are asking schools, clubs and organisations to wear blue for the day during this important awareness week.

Station Manager for Prevention Adam Farrow, said: “Water safety is literally a matter of life and death so it is vital young children are taught the dangers from an early age.

“With age-appropriate subjects we hope to educate as many local youngsters as possible about the threat of drowning alongside partner agencies.

“Historically, in the UK, teenage boys and young men, are at the highest risk of drowning and by speaking with primary schools we hope to educate those who, in the future, could potentially be at a higher risk, into making better decisions.”

Here are some facts around drowning, which we hope will reinforce the message of why this is so important:

  • 47% of accidental drowning occur between May and August
  • 83% of those who accidentally drown in the UK are male
  • 59% of UK accidental drownings occur at inland water sites
  • An average of 312 UK and Irish citizens lose their life to accidental drowning each year
  • Alcohol and/or drugs are a factor in 32% of all UK accidental drowning.

Here is some important information if you find yourself in an emergency situation:

  • If in water inland call 999 and ask for the Fire Service
  • If in water on the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Schools and other clubs and organisations which work with young children can request a visit from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service by visiting our website here Schools Talks – North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service (northyorksfire.gov.uk)