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22 July 2021

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service urge public to “Be Water Aware” following recent drowning deaths

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is asking the people of Cumbria to Be Water Aware in and around our lakes and rivers throughout the summer holidays.

Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in the UK and together with our partner agencies, we’re committed to ensuring everyone in Cumbria is equipped with the information they need to stay safe around water.

Will Richardson, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Group Manager, Head of Community Safety said:

“The recent months have presented considerable and tragic incidents at our waters throughout Cumbria. We urge the public to understand the dangers which our waters can present, to learn the importance of knowing how to float to live, and to call 999 if others are in trouble if there is a water related emergency.

“Prevention is always better than cure. We want people to enjoy the water safely and we are fully committed to preventing drowning incidents from happening in the first place. To do this, more education is needed, so that people fully understand the risks and are better prepared.”

Simple steps to raise awareness of the risks around water and how they can be reduced will help prevent these deaths.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Water Safety Advice:

·         If you are spending time near water, make sure you know what to do if you happened to fall in. The advice is not to panic, float on your back and then either call for help or swim to safety.

·         If you've consumed alcohol, do not enter the water, and avoid walking 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 and that children are always fully and actively supervised.

You can find more safety advice on Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s website: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/cumbriafire/safetyoutdoors/watersafety.asp

The latest figures from the Water Incident Database (WAID), which is maintained by the National Water Safety Forum shows that there were 254 deaths in UK waters from accidental drownings in 2020 across inland and coastal locations. This is an increase of 34 from the previous year.

Key insights from the data includes:

·         Inland open waters, such as rivers, canals, lakes, reservoirs, and quarries continue to be the leading locations with 58% of deaths.

·         Males continue to over represent with 78% of deaths.

·         Almost half of (43%) people had no intention to enter the water, such as those walking, with causes including slips, trips and falls, being cut off by the tide, or swept in by waves.

For further water safety advice, please contact with your local fire station and keep up to date with Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s social media channels.


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Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is asking the people of Cumbria to Be Water Aware in and around our lakes and rivers throughout the summer holidays.