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 (22 February) for the second year running, from 22 – 26 February, warning the public to be extra careful around water.
Latest figures* show, of the 381 people who unnecessarily lost their lives to drowning in the UK – 126 were runners and walkers. They never meant to be in the water and are the highest group at risk of accidental drownings.
The charity will be pushing awareness messages through social media, with the hashtag #RunnersandWalkers. People will be encouraged to share the charity’s posts to help save lives.
Di Steer, RLSS UK Chief Executive, said: “Around a third of all drowning victims who sadly lose their lives to drowning are runners or walkers and never intended to be in the water. If you are running or walking next to bodies of water, 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.