Fire service highlight the importance of staying safe on the water

Shay Bottomley

shayb@baylismedia.co.uk
Fire service highlight the importance of staying safe on the water

Firefighters from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service out sharing advice as part of Drowning Prevention Week

As part of the Advertiser’s campaign to raise awareness about safety on the water, we have been speaking to different organisations on the importance of staying safe on the water.

This week, we spoke with the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service about its efforts to keep our waters safe.

At the end of June, the fire and rescue service took part in Drowning Prevention Week, an annual water safety campaign hosted by the Royal Life Saving Society.

Robin Jordan, watch-based station manager at Maidenhead Fire Station, said: “Each year, accidental drowning tragically claims the lives of over 400 people in the UK and Ireland, so we thought it was vitally important that we support the campaign and share water safety advice to our residents.

“As part of Drowning Prevention Week, we worked with our local partners to share water safety advice in various ways.

“We issued a joint press release with Thames Valley Police, South Central Ambulance Service, the Environment Agency and several of our local councils, including the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

“We also shared our advice on our RBFRS Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, alongside our partners, to maximise the message.

“We attended several joint water safety patrols and events, giving face-to-face advice with members of the public as well as showing them our water rescue equipment.

“The aim of the campaign was to equip people with the skills and knowledge to be able to enjoy the water safely and we are extremely proud of the work carried out by our teams and partners to spread this important message.

“If you would like to read our water safety advice, you can visit our dedicated water safety web page on our website at www.rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/out-and-about/water-safety/ or follow us on Twitter at @RBFRSOfficial and on Facebook/Instagram at Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.”

The fire service also provided some simple steps of what to do if you encounter someone who has fallen into deep water:

  • Call 999 straight away and ask to speak to the fire service and ambulance. If the incident is on the coast, you should contact the coastguard.
  • The emergency services will need to know where you are. If you do not know the specific location look for landmarks or signs – for example, bridges will often have numbers on them which can identify the location.
  • Never enter the water to try and save someone, even if you are a strong swimmer.
  • Shout to the person in the water ‘swim to me’. The water can be disorientating, and this can give them a focus.
  • Depending on where you are there might be lifebelts or throw bags – use them. If they are attached to rope, make sure you have secured or are holding the end of the rope so you can pull them in.

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