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Making a splash to educate on water safety

Posted on 24 May 2023

Last week we joined Newark and Sherwood District Council and Nottinghamshire Police to host an educational day dedicated to water safety.

The event was the first in a series being held over the summer months to educate on the importance of safe behaviour around lakes, rivers and canals. Activities and talks during the sessions were run by officers from the District Council, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, and Nottinghamshire Police.

The event was held at Riverside Park, Newark, and was attended by over 70 year four, five and six pupils from Lovers Lane Primary School.

Firefighters completed a water incident rescue demonstration and pupils were also taught how to rescue someone from the water safely using throw bag safety lines. Police officers held a safety discussion about anti-social behaviour around water, and the session was completed by officers from the District Council who led a learning outcome session to see what the pupils had learned during the morning. The pupils were also given hi-vis safety packs and game cards to take home.

Yvonne Swinton, Community Protection Manager at Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “It is so important that young people are well informed about the dangers of water and how they can have fun but still remain safe. These sessions are a great way to really get that message across in an interactive way that the pupils can enjoy as they learn.”

“As always it is fantastic to work with our partners from Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service to create a safer Newark and Sherwood.”

Inspector Charlotte Ellam, District Commander for Newark and Sherwood said: “Educational days like this are so vital for us and our partners to really send out a strong message about water safety and the tragic consequences that could arise for anyone of any age.

“Speaking to children who could potentially be likely to go to rivers, lakes, and canals on a hot summer’s day to cool off is so important for us and our partners to reiterate safety messages and start a discussion about the correct behaviour when you’re close to open water.

“It was great for officers to get to interact with children from the school and I hope they went away from the talk full of advice and how to keep themselves safe around water.”

Michelle Fitzpatrick, District Prevent Officer at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It is imperative that we ensure that young people are safe in and around water. It may seem inviting and fun, especially in the summer, but sadly not many people are aware of the dangers.

“Having the opportunity to be able to deliver events like this means we can raise awareness to prevent future incidents from happening.

“We will continue to work with Newark and District Council and Nottinghamshire Police to deliver more sessions, including a session on fire safety.”

Open water is cold, may contain hidden debris which can result in injuries and even drowning and often much deeper than people think. In addition, rivers, canals and lakes are often polluted by toxic chemicals which can lead to illness.

Head to our website for more information about water safety.