Professor Greg Whyte OBE teams up with the UK’s Drowning Prevention Charity to show his support

29 September 2016

greg-newsFormer Olympian backing growth of safe open water swimming and drowning prevention for the charity following a summer of tragedy

World renowned Sports Scientist, Physical Activity Expert and trainer to the stars, Professor Greg Whyte OBE, has teamed up with the UK’s Drowning Prevention Charity.

The former Olympian will work with the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) to help it to reach more people with its drowning prevention and water safety messages and, ultimately, save lives.

The news follows a summer in which 48* people tragically lost their lives in open water. Around 400 people die each year due to accidental drowning in the UK, the equivalent of one person every 20 hours. That’s more accidental fatalities annually than fire deaths in the home or cycling deaths on the road**.greg-news-2

And RLSS UK works tirelessly to raise awareness of the issue through education, campaigns, events, lifesaving training and working at Government level to get water safety firmly on the political agenda.

Greg is set to support the charity with its aims, including a particular focus on its open water related messages and activities due to his passion for open water swimming where safety is a priority.

Technical Director at RLSS UK and open water swimming lead, Adrian Lole, said: “We are thrilled that Greg is showing his support for the charity and will be an important partner. We have worked with him in the past and his passion and genuine interest in what we do has been clear.

“His positive attitude is so inspiring, we hope that together we can help more and more people to enjoy open water swimming safely and drive the drowning prevention messages home.

“We’re sure that with his help and influence we can get the issue of drowning even more firmly on the agenda and encourage people to enjoy water safely with the ultimate aim of saving the unnecessary loss of life we tragically see to drowning each year.”

RLSS UK wants people to enjoy open water but safely as more people who drown lose their lives in inland open water sites than on the coast each year. And with open water swimming the fastest growing sport in the world, it aims to campaign for more, safe, lifeguarded open water swimming sites across the country.

The charity and Greg will help raise awareness of RLSS UK’s work and profile as the leading provider of water safety and drowning prevention education and training in a variety of ways including supporting its numerous campaigns and lifeguard/lifesaving award schemes, attending and swimming in the charity’s Open Water Festivals and meeting with MPs at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Water Safety and Drowning Prevention of which RLSS UK is the Secretariat.

Greg said: “I am delighted to support RLSS UK in its work to promote water safety and prevent drowning. Having been a lifeguard, as well as being a competitive swimmer in both pool and open water for over four decades, I am passionate about promoting safe swimming for all.

“Swimming should be a part of everyone’s life and together with the team at RLSS UK, I am looking forward to helping make a positive impact on water safety and drowning prevention.”


For more information on RLSS UK –

Visit our website at

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram – @RLSSUK

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Call – 0300 3230 096

Images –

1 – (L-R) RLSS UK’s Techincal Director and open water swimming lead, Adrian Lole, with Professor Greg Whyte.

2 – Greg Whyte after completing an RLSS UK Open Water Festival – in first place!

Notes to Editors –

*Figures recorded by RLSS UK, correct of 31 August 2016

** Fire statistics Great Britain report 2013 and Department for transport, transport statistics Great Britain four-year average, 2010-2013


The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is the drowning prevention charity.  Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and the RLSS UK aims to prevent drowning through water safety education.

Through its trading subsidiary, IQL UK, there are more than 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). Around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards are trained by the RLSS UK.

RLSS UK awards and programmes teach a range of lifesaving skills ranging from life support (CPR) to water survival and rescue skills. Programmes include Rookie Lifeguard (for eight to12-year–olds), Survive and Save (for 12 years+) and Save a Baby’s Life (a free course aimed at parents and carers of young children).

The RLSS UK (then the Life Saving Society) was formed in 1891. In 1904, as there was great support for the organisation from the Royal Family, the society was granted permission to use the Royal title and became the Royal Life Saving Society.

Drowning Prevention Week is the national campaign run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK to cut down the number of accidental drowning that occur each year and support families affected by drowning. The next campaign will run from June 16-26 2017.

For more information and interview/spokesperson opportunities contact Porcha Treanor on 01789 774495 or email [email protected] or Olivia Healey on 01789 774 216 or email [email protected].