Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Do one thing on World Drowning Prevention Day

Today is the World Health Organisation’s World Drowning Prevention Day. Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging everyone in Essex to do one thing and help raise awareness of water safety.

Essex has one of the longest coastlines in the UK as well as many inland water beauty spots. The Service wants people to enjoy the water, especially in this hot weather and summer holiday season, but to respect it and be aware of the dangers.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s Water Safety Manager Andrea MacAlister said:  

“Most people don't think of the fire service when it comes to water rescues, but it's an important part of our work which is why we want people to enjoy spending time in and around water safely.  

“On World Drowning Prevention Day, we are asking that people #RespectTheWater by doing the following things.

  • look after yourself and your family.
  • if you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live. Lean back and use your arms and legs to help you float, then get control of your breathing before calling for help or swimming to safety.
  • if you see someone else in trouble in the water, call 999 or 112. If you are at the coast ask for the coastguard, if you are inland, ask for the fire service.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will also be joining other organisations across Essex in lighting up blue. Our crews will be turning on our fire appliances’ blue lights at our fire stations at 8pm on today to help raise awareness of World Drowning Prevention Day.

The Service will also be urging people to watch our water safety advice videos as well as sharing a short film from the Lee Valley Water Safety Partnership which tells the story of a mum’s pain after losing her son in an accident at the park. In the film she urges people to understand the dangers of water and that no one is invincible. 

The advice includes:  

  • Never swim alone in case you need help 
  • Don’t drink alcohol when undertaking water related activities, it impairs judgement and your ability to swim 
  • Avoid walking routes near water if you have been drinking alcohol 
  • Don’t dive or jump straight into open water, this can cause potentially fatal cold water shock even on the warmest day 
  • Actively supervise children in and around water - drowning can happen fast and silently 
  • If you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, don’t panic, extend your arms and legs out and float on your back until the effect of cold-water shock pass 
  • 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. 


For more Water Safety advice, go to 

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