National Fire Chiefs Council urge people to be water aware

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Fire services throughout the UK are this week supporting the NFCC’s call for people to take care when taking part in activities in and around water.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the UK and many of these preventable deaths occur even though people had no intention of entering the water.

In 2016 315 people accidently drowned – 50% of these people were just taking part in everyday activities near water such as walking.

The week will focus on raising awareness amongst the following groups:

Runners and walkers -  they are the group most at risk of accidental drowning.

Drinkers – 89% of male of male fatalities who went missing on a night out were found dead in water.

People away from home – the chances of an incident are raised when people are not familiar with the local area. Seek out local safety information when spending time near water.

The campaign builds on the collaborative work of the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) which on 29 February 2016 launched the UK’s first drowning prevention strategy at the House of Commons. NFCC’s Water Safety Lead, Dawn Whittaker – Chief Fire Officer - East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, sits on the NWSF and we are working closely with other organisations in the NWSF to support the overall aim of reducing the number of drownings in the UK by 50% by 2026.

Anyone can get involved in the campaign by finding out what activities your local fire and rescue service have planned, sharing their messages on social media – look out for #BeWaterAware but crucially we want you to follow the advice and be water aware.

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