As the weather hots up this week the drowning prevention charity urges people to enjoy the sunshine but stay safe

07 April 2015

RLSS UK Drowning prevention charity issues warning as weather hots up

The Royal Life Saving Society UK issues water safety advice as the Easter holidays continue

With a week of warm weather predicted following the Easter bank holiday, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) has urged people to enjoy the sunshine but warned people to stay water safe.

The drowning prevention charity has issued water safety tips that could save lives as temperatures are expected to hit 20C as many enjoy the remainder of the half-term break.

Warm weather leads people to spend time in and around water but if not done safely it can end in tragedy.

Around 400 people drown in the UK each year, the equivalent of one every 20 hours. When the weather warms up more people enjoy the water and drownings in open water sadly peak.

Diving or jumping into water with low temperature can cause the body to have a cold shock response, resulting in a number of involuntary physiological responses including difficulty in moving limbs, making swimming or staying on the surface difficult, and a sudden gasp which can mean water is breathed in instead of air.

And it is important to remember to be safe around the home as people spend more time in the garden and dig out paddling pools for children.

RLSS UK’s acting director of volunteers and community education, Mike Dunn, said: “With the predicted nice weather we want people to go out and enjoy the water safely and we advise people to swim at open water sites where there are lifeguards to help keep swimmers safe.

“We also ask people to think water safety at home and follow our tips.

“So, make the most of the weather but listen to advice and do so responsibly, don’t let a weekend of fun become a tragedy.”

 

Open Water Safety Tips

The conditions at open water sites change constantly:

  • Only ever enter the water in areas with adequate supervision and rescue cover
  • Always look for warning and guidance signs
  • Do not enter fast flowing water
  • Be aware of underwater hazards
  • Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold
  • Never enter the water after consuming alcohol
  • Always wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket for activities on the water or at the water’s edge (such as when boating or fishing)
  • If you want to swim wear a wetsuit if you have one
  • Always take someone with you when you go into or near water. If something goes wrong they will be able to get help

 

Top 5 Water Safety Tips near open water

  • Be aware of your surroundings and take notice of any warning signs when out and about
  • When running or walking next to open water, stay well clear of bank edges. They are often unstable and this can create slips, trips and falls
  • Try to always walk or run with a friend
  • Always let someone know where you’re going – take your mobile phone
  • Learn swimming and lifesaving skills

 

Top water safety tips in the garden

  • Never leave a child unsupervised around water, under any circumstances
  • Always use self-closing gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gainingaccess to ponds and pools of water. Check and maintain fences and fixings regularly and never leave chairs or objects near to fencing that children could use to climb over
  • Securely cover all water storage tanks and drains
  • Empty paddling pools, buckets, watering cans and other containers as soon as they have been used. Always turn them upside down once empty
  • Learn CPR and lifesaving skills – RLSS UK has a variety of course and awards available for all ages and needs

 

What to do if someone is in trouble in the water

  • Shout reassurance to them, shout for help and call the emergency services (call 999 or 112)
  • Without endangering yourself see if you can reach out to them with a stick, pole or item of clothing – lie down to ensure you stay secure. Alternatively throw something buoyant to them such as a ring buoy or anything that will float

 

For more water safety advice or details on lifesaving courses suitable for children and adults:
Visit our website at www.rlss.org.uk
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Visit our Facebook page
Call 01789 773994