Drowning and water safety

Drowning – the facts

Every year, in the UK, around 400 people die from drowning as a result of an accident in or around water.

There are thousands of individuals who survive drowning events but who are left with severe, and often permanent, life-changing injuries.  Our search, rescue and emergency services respond to over 100,000 water-related rescue, and flood events annually. All of these place huge burdens on families, individuals and society.

Many of these deaths are as a result of simple everyday mistakes, such as a trip or fall into water, or misjudgements such as underestimating the effect of swimming in cold open water unprepared can have. Others result from inherently risky activities including jumping/tomb-stoning from a great height into water.

Drowning death and injuries are preventable

You can make a big difference by:

  • Ensuring that you and your family can swim, be water confident, and have water safety skills

  • Making smart choices, such as swimming at life guarded beaches and pools, using appropriate safety equipment and not drinking alcohol before going in the water. All of  these  greatly affect your survival chances

  • Becoming aware of, and knowing how to avoid key water-safety hazards; such as rips, cold-water, moving water whilst outside.

  • Dealing with hazards for children and vulnerable people in and around the home such as ponds, bath, swimming pools

  • Taking opportunities for children and teenagers to develop 'risk-competence' by learning about safety by experiencing risk

  • Knowing what to do in an emergency

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