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Fire Service gives safety advice for water sports

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has given safety advice for water sports ahead of the summer holidays.

With warmer weather on the way, many people might look to enjoy the outdoors in the water by swimming, kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding.

Water sports have gained popularity during the UK lockdown and British Canoeing says its membership has grown 23% since last year, with stand-up paddle boarding proving popular.

Nick Singleton, Operational and Community Risk Manager for North Essex and on-call firefighter in Frinton is one of the Service’s stand-up paddle boarding enthusiasts. He said:

“Stand-up paddleboarding and other water sports are a great way to enjoy the great outdoors while keeping your distance from others. While we want people to enjoy these activities, water safety should be on your mind at all times.

“Make sure you assess the conditions before heading into the water, if it’s choppy, there’s a good chance you’ll fall in the water at some point.

“I’d advise wearing a life vest or buoyancy aid and if you do fall in, try not to panic as the cold water shock sets in. Cold water shock can cause you to panic but these effects will pass in a less than a minute, try to relax and float on your back while you catch your breath and if you can, grab hold of something to help you float. Stay calm, call for help and swim to safety if you can.

“Look out for each other while in the water and never leave children unattended.”


Could you be an on-call firefighter?

Nick is an on-call firefighter at Frinton Fire Station. On-call firefighters, live or work 5 minutes from an on-call fire station and a paid to respond to incidents when they are paged.

To find out more about the role, and how you can apply, visit: www.join.essex-fire.gov.uk/oncall

Page last updated 17 July, 2020

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