Drowning Prevention Week (DPW) aims to equip everybody across the UK and Ireland with the skills and knowledge, to make the right decisions about water safety. Swimming isn’t just a critical lifesaving skill, it’s a skill that opens up a lifetime of fun and adventure in and on the water and throughout 2020 and 2021, cohorts of young people have missed out on the opportunity to swim, leaving a dramatic gap in school swimming and water safety education. The UK’s beautiful waterways should be places where everyone feels at ease, and can take pleasure from their surroundings, whatever their age, whatever their activity level.
Swimming isn’t just a critical lifesaving skill, it’s a skill that opens up a lifetime of fun and adventure in and on the water and throughout 2020 and 2021 millions of young people have missed out on the opportunity to swim, leaving a dramatic gap in school swimming and water safety education.
FIND OUT MORE HERE - https://www.rlss.org.uk/pages/category/drowning-prevention-week-campaign
Find out more about how your Local Freedom Leisure Centre works with children and adults in promoting water safety and teaching students this vital life skill of ‘Learning to Swim’.
One person drowns every 20 hours in the UK and hundreds more suffer life changing injuries through near drowning.
By spreading water safety advice far and wide, Drowning Prevention Week aims to teach people how to be safe near water.
The campaign encourages schools, clubs, leisure centres and communities to promote water safety through events, lessons, games and activities in a bid to make people more aware of the dangers of water.
If saving human lives is the great desideratum, then there is more to be gained by the prevention of drowning, and auto wrecks than by the abolition of warBrian Heyes
Learn and follow the water safety code
The Water Safety Code is the fundamental spine of all water safety education. It is designed to provide simple and easy to remember information that acts both as a proactive measure to help people to educate every one across the UK and Ireland to make early, critical decisions and also to help people to understand what they should do in emergency action.
When visiting the beach... Know your flags
Flags are placed to advise of dangers and indicate safe swimming areas.
Red Flags - Mean danger, no swimming under any circumstances. You may not be able to see the danger, but it's there! Be careful not to fall in to the water accidentally. Many drownings happen to people who never intended to be in the water.
Red & Yellow Flags - These are put out by lifeguards. The indicate an area that is safe for swimming & bodyboarding and is being monitored by lifeguards. There will be two of these and the area in-between is the place to swim. If these are taken away this indicates that the lifeguard team are no longer monitoring that area and it is advisable to leave the water.
Black & White Flags - These are also put out by lifeguards but it is NOT safe to swim in this area. It is reserved for water sports such as surfing and windsurfing. There will be two of these and the area in-between them is the lifeguarded water sports zone.
... and how to spot (& escape) a rip current
A rip current, or 'Rip' is a strong, localised and narrow current of water which moves directly away from the shore. It cuts through the lines of breaking waves like a river running out to sea.
If your caught in a rip don't panic or exhaust yourself by trying to swim against the flow of water. A rip current won't pull you under the water it will simply carry floating objects out to sea.
To escape the rip...
Swim across the current, parallel to the shore, in either direction, until out of the rip current (which is usually not very wide). Once out of the rip, swimming back to shore is relatively easy in areas where waves are breaking.
Cold water shock happens when your body is plunged quickly into cold water. You have reduced control over your breathing and a tendency to gasp. The first instinct is to swim hard and fast (or thrash about) this is a mistake and increases the likelihood that you will drown.
The best thing to do in this situation is to simply float. Lie back, spread your arms and legs out, push your stomach up and float. Wait for your breathing to return to normal. Then you will be in a better position to swim to safety.