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Water Safety Campaign

28th May 2018

Now the weather is warming up we’re launching our water safety campaign which will run throughout June.

In 2016 315 people accidentally drowned in the UK, with around 50% of these people taking part in everyday activities near water such as walking or running. Young drinkers are also at risk, with over 30% (20 of 64 people) of 15-29 year olds who drowned in 2016 having alcohol in their system*. 

Our message is if you’re heading out for drinks, going for a run or walk or visiting the coast to be aware of your surroundings and take care near rivers and lakes and the sea.

Even on a hot day the temperature of open water will be much colder than you might expect, this can send your body into cold water shock making it difficult for you to swim. There may also be hidden objects such as shopping trolleys, broken glass and even old bikes that might cause you an injury or you get caught up in meaning you’re unable to swim back to the bank.

Station Manager Bob Hoskins from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “It’s easy if you’ve been out for a few drinks to not really think about the consequences of your actions, whether that’s jumping into the water because it looks fun or slipping and falling in because you’ve got too close to the edge. If you’re going out for drinks with your friends please think about how you’re all going to get home, try to avoid taking shortcuts near open water and definitely don’t be tempted to go for a midnight swim!

If you’re a walker or runner try to avoid getting close to the water’s edge, especially if it’s been wet as banksides may be more slippery than usual.

If you’re planning a trip to the coast over the Summer and want to go swimming stick to lifeguard patrolled beaches.

Finally if you see someone in trouble in water, don’t enter the water yourself. Dial 999 and ask for the fire service in land or the Coast Guard at the coast, try to throw something out to them, a throw line or life ring if there’s some nearby or even an item of clothing. If you fall in, don’t struggle, lie back and keep your airways clear, push your stomach up and extend your limbs moving hands and feet to help you float.”

As part of our campaign we are holding a water awareness event in York on the afternoon of 16th June. We’ll be doing some demonstrations of throwlines and water rescue gear so come along and see us in Tower gardens near Skeldergate Bridge. 

Find out more about water safety on our website here 


*figures from

Our water safety campaign will run from 1st-30th June

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