AF&RS urge local people to Be Water Aware

With warmer weather on the horizon, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) in urging local residents to Be Water Aware.

As the sun shines and temperatures rise, you may be tempted to take a swim or cool off in rivers, lakes or weirs. The NFCC Be Water Aware campaign runs from 26 April – 2 May to encourage residents not to be complacent when spending time in and around water.

Sadly, drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the country, with 223 people accidentally drowning in the UK in 2019. Following simple advice will help reduce the number of accidental drownings and the many more injuries following water related incidents.

If you are heading to the water this summer, please follow these simple rules:

  • Never swim alone, you never know when you may need help.
  • Alcohol impairs your judgement and your ability to swim, if you’ve consumed alcohol, don’t enter the water.
  • Be aware of rip tides and currents – they can drag you out to sea and are almost impossible to swim against.
  • Actively supervise children in and around the water.
  • Never enter the water to try and rescue someone, call 999 and ask for the Fire Service if inland and the Coastguard if you are at the coast.

If you do find yourself unexpectedly in the water, don’t panic, extend your arms and legs and float on your back. Remember, Float to Live.

Meghann Elvin, Children and Young Persons Manager in the Risk Reduction Team, said: “When the weather is nice, we all know that our local beaches, rivers and lakes become very busy with people looking to relax or cool off in the water.

“We want to make sure that people can enjoy themselves safely when relaxing in and around the water, which is why we’re asking people to be water aware.

“By sharing these safety tips, we hope to reduce the number of preventable drowning and make sure people can enjoy themselves and remain safe.”

For updates on how to keep safe, make sure to follow our Young Peopleand Vulnerable Adults teams on Twitter!