Runners and walkers are the highest group at risk of accidental drowning

20 February 2017

National campaign launched by drowning prevention charity

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the Drowning Prevention Charity, is warning UK runners and walkers to stay safe near bodies of water as they are most at risk of accidental drowning. 

The charity has launched its national Runners and Walkers awareness campaign today (20 February) for the third year running, from 20 – 26 February, warning the public to be extra careful around water.

Latest figures show on average around 40 per cent of all drowning victims were running or walking* and never intended on being in the water.

The charity will be pushing awareness messages through social media, with the hashtag #JustOneSlip. People will be encouraged to share the charity’s posts to help save lives.

Di Steer, RLSS UK Chief Executive, said: “If you are running or walking next to bodies of water, whether this could be keeping fit, walking the dog, a family walk or a journey home from the pub or a night out, be aware of your surroundings and please be extra vigilant and stay well clear of bank edges. These are often unstable and this can create slips, trips and falls and always let someone know where you are going.

“We would ask people to support the campaign and follow our simple advice to help ensure they and their families stay safe.”

RLSS UK’s advice:

  • 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 to swim and lifesaving skills


Check out the RLSS UK Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to follow and support the campaign and help us spread awareness to save lives.

For more information on RLSS UK’s Runners and Walkers campaign and the safety steps you can take –

Follow us on Twitter – @RLSSUK

Visit our Facebook page –

Join our LinkedIn page – @rlssuk

Follow the campaign – #JustOneSlip

Call – 0300 323 0096

*National Water Safety Forum Water Incident Database (WAID) of which RLSS UK is a member. Data is used from 2012-2015.

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].