Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Fire Service gives swimming safety advice for summer

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has issued swimming safety advice for summer while swimming pools are closed.

With summer in full swing, many people will be heading to beaches and parks to enjoy the sunshine and if you’re tempted to cool off in the water, make sure you’re staying safe.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the UK. 50% of people who die never intended to go in the water.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service wants people to really enjoy being near the water and be aware of the relevant risks.

Nick Singleton, Operational Risk and Community Manager for North Essex said:

“As we’re approaching the summer holidays and with swimming pools currently closed, we want to make people aware of the dangers of swimming in open water. We know when it’s hot, it is tempting to take a dip in the sea, a lake or a river and we ask people to be careful.

“Make sure you assess the conditions before wading into water, don’t swim out of your depth and don’t take any risks as currents can quickly change, particularly in the sea.

“Keep an eye on each other when in the water and never let children into the water without adult supervision.

“We know from our colleagues in the RNLI that half of people who die at the coast had tripped or fallen. If you fall into the water, 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.

“You might be looking for ways to keep your dog cool in the summer and swimming is a great way to tire them out while keeping them cool. If your dog starts to get into any difficulty while swimming, please do not go in after them. Dogs usually find a way to scramble out of water and more often than not, people trying to rescue them get into distress themselves. Please call 999 if your dog starts to struggle in the water.

“Before heading out, make sure your phone is fully charged incase you need to call for help. I would also advise you to download a free smartphone app called what3words which can accurately describe your location if you don’t know where you are. It works without signal and emergency services across the world use it.”

Read more water safety advice here.


Page last updated 2 July 2020

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