Fire bosses issue water safety tips as part of new campaign
Fire chiefs have urged people to be careful around water as part of an awareness week.
Cleveland Fire Brigade have highlighted a number of safety tips after it was revealed drowning was one of the leading causes of accidental death in the UK.
The fire brigade has thrown its support behind the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC’s) drowning prevention and water safety campaign ‘Be Water Aware’, which started yesterday and will run until Sunday.
Each year in the UK, more than 300 people drown after tripping, falling or underestimating the risks associated with being near water.
Many more people are left with life-changing injuries in water-related incidents.
Dave Turton, head of community safety for Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “It is essential to highlight the dangers of drowning and to be ‘water aware’.
"Locally we have the River Tees and other waterways that can pose a danger to anyone who goes near them.
"We hope that by providing people with safety advice, it will hopefully save lives."
NFCC’s water safety lead, chief fire officer Dawn Whittaker, said: "Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happen to be near water such as runners and walkers.
"They are unaware of the risks and are totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water.
"By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them we hope to reduce the number of these needless deaths."
Cleveland Fire Brigade have issued the following advice.
If you are going for a walk or run near water, stick to proper pathways and stay clear of the water’s edge.
Make sure conditions are safe, and avoid walking or running near water in the dark, slippery or in bad weather.
If you’ve had alcohol don’t enter the water, avoid walking alone and avoid 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.