The National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) Be Water Aware campaign will run from 26th April - 2nd May. Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is taking part to encourage people not to be complacent when spending time in and around water. The aim is to encourage people to be safe by being aware of the risks.
Following simple advice will help reduce the 223 accidental drownings reported in 2019 and the many more injuries, which can be lifechanging, following water related incidents. 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.
Most people don't think of the fire service when it comes to water rescues, but it's an important part of our work. Tragically, more than 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland every year and many more suffer life-changing injuries.
While we hope you'll never need them, we have specialist water rescue crews ready to respond to emergencies across Essex 24/7.
Please read through our safety advice to keep yourself, your friends and family safe around water. Remember, if you or someone else is in trouble in water call 999 immediately
Always follow the Water Safety Code. Whenever you are around water:
STOP and THINK - Look for the dangers, always read the signs
STAY TOGETHER - Never swim alone - always go with friends or family
In an emergency:
CALL 999 - Shout for help and phone 999
FLOAT - If you fall in, float or swim on your back. Throw something that floats to anyone who has fallen in