Drowning Prevention Charity issues pool safety advice as funeral of drowning victim takes place

24 July 2015

Garden pool

The UK’s Drowning Prevention Charity, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), has issued vital safety advice following the funeral of Martin Winfield, who lost his life with his partner Alan Green in their swimming pool.

Martin Winfield, aged 59, and Alan Green, aged 75, drowned in their swimming pool at their Worcestershire home on July 3. Martin’s funeral took place today (Friday) at which friends and family were asked to make donations to RLSS UK instead of taking flowers.

And, as the tragedy highlights the possible dangers of residential swimming pools, the charity, which is also the leader in lifeguard training in the UK, with more than 95 per cent of lifeguards holding an RLSS UK qualification, has warned of the dangers but also how to enjoy pools as safely as possible.

RLSS UK Chief Executive, Di Steer, said: “The deaths of Mr Winfield and Mr Green are an utter tragedy and our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time. Our deepest thanks also go to the family who have so very kindly asked for donations to help us with our vital drowning prevention work.

“We encourage people to enjoy the water but as safely as possible and would urge anyone who has a swimming pool in their garden to take note of our simple advice, advice that could save lives and prevent another tragedy such as this happening to anyone else.”

RLSS UK’s water safety guidance for residential pools –

  • Children and weak swimmers should be closely supervised by an adult at all times and weak swimmers should stay within the pool’s recommended safety depths
  • Never swim alone
  • Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of pools
  • Control access to the pool by using suitable fencing, secure doors/gates and pool and/or gate alarms to monitor access to swimming pools where possible
  • Never enter the water after drinking alcohol
  • Have easy access to suitable rescue aids such as a torpedo buoy, rope or reach pole (all available from www.lifesaversdirect.co.uk)
  • Know what to do in an emergency – learn First Aid and CPR
  • Always advise guests to your pool of key safety advice
  • Always follow manufacturers advice of the pool for maintenance and safety checks

For more water safety advice click here.

Clare, Steve and Paul Winfield, Martin’s children, have set up a JustGiving page which reads, ‘we wanted to support this fantastic charity to help prevent accidents happening again’. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/MartinWinfield

For more information and interview/spokesperson opportunities contact Porcha Treanor by emailing porchatreanor@rlss.org.uk or calling 01789 774495.