As part of Drowning Prevention Week, which starts today, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is reminding residents of the importance of staying safe when in or near water.
Each year, more than 700 people drown across the UK and Ireland and hundreds more have near-drowning experiences, sometimes suffering life-changing injuries
Paul Hedley, chief fire officer at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “As the weather warms up you’ll likely head to the beach or nearby lakes and rivers to cool down and enjoy the sun, while we want you to enjoy yourself we also want to take this opportunity to remind our residents and visitors of key water safety tips.”
Always keep young children under constant supervision; Never enter water if you have been drinking alcohol; Always look for warning and guidance signs and make sure you adhere to any advice; If you are near open water, only enter the water in areas with adequate supervision and rescue cover; While at the beach, never let your young children out of your reach – supervision is the key to preventing serious accidents; Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard – do not use them in open water.
If you see someone in distress in the water then you should look for any life-saving equipment, such as life jackets or life rings nearby that you could throw to them and always ring 999 for the emergency services.
Coun John Riddle, cabinet member with responsibility for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “Knowing how to stay safe in and near water is vital and following key safety tips can help to keep you and your loved ones safe.
“It’s also important to ensure you have a conversation with your loved ones, especially children, to ensure they know and understand water safety advice.”
For further information about keeping yourself and loved ones safe near water, visit: https://rlss.org.uk/about-us/campaigns/drowning-prevention-week/