Be Water Aware

28/04/2021

We are supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Be Water Aware campaign in collaboration with the National Water Safety Partnership.

We are taking part to encourage people to not be complacent when spending time in and around water. The aim is to encourage people to be safe by being aware of the risks.

Following simple advice will help reduce the 223 accidental drownings reported in 2019 and the many more injuries, which can be lifechanging, following water related incidents.

The advice includes:

• Never swim alone in case you need help

• Don't drink alcohol when undertaking water related activities, it impairs judgement and your ability to swim

• Avoid walking routes near water if you have been drinking alcohol

• Don't dive or jump straight into open water, this can cause potentially fatal cold-water shock even on the warmest day

• Actively supervise children in and around water - drowning can happen fast and silently

• If you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, don't panic, extend your arms and legs out and float on your back

• Never enter the water to try and rescue someone, call 999

Area Manager Bryn Coleman, said: "Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service work hard to create safer communities using water safety advice. We advise people that swimming and jumping into open water, such as rivers, canals, ponds and lakes can be extremely dangerous as you don't know what hazards lie below the surface.

"Under currents can sweep you off your feet and put you in immediate danger which may find you needing help. Also, although the air temperature may be high, water temperatures may be significantly colder which could affect your ability to swim to safety.

"Please remember to be vigilant and if you see someone struggling in the water call 999. If you are struggling in the water call for help and lay backwards whilst floating.

"We also advise everyone to download the 'What3Words' app. This can help the emergency services get an exact location if you, or someone else, is in trouble in water."

Joshua Rayner, what3words' UK Emergency Services, said: "We hear stories everyday about how what3words is helping the emergency services to locate 999 callers faster - saving precious time, resources and lives.

Over the recent April Bank Holiday weekend, what3words was used to help rescue crews identify the exact location of several water-related incidents.

As the summer draws closer and more time is spent outdoors and by water, downloading the free what3words app is a simple precaution you can take to be prepared whilst also adhering to the important water safety advice issued by the likes of the UK's emergency services, voluntary lifeguard associations, the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)."

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