April/May each year sees the launch of National Fire Chiefs Council Water Safety campaign. This year the focus is on young adults who may find themselves at risk by walking home near water perhaps after consuming alcohol.
- 89% male fatalities who went missing on a night out were found dead in bodies of water
- Between 2012-16 there were 366 accidental drownings involving alcohol and/or drugs
- Of the 366 nearly 50% accidentally fell in after walking home after drinking alcohol
- 40% were taking part in water-based activities after drinking and the remaining 10% it was unclear what they were doing when they ended up in the water
- 2016 statistics show that Saturday (54) and Sundays (59) were the days most drownings occurred
- Alcohol reduces inhibitions and can mean you take more risks
- Alcohol will impair judgment and control
- Please enjoy the summer ahead and any activity or near in the water but stay safe and never underestimate the risks of UK inland and coastal water.
What to do if you see someone in difficulty?
- Call 999 or 112 – straightaway. If you don’t have a phone shout for help – you may have to look for help but do not enter the water.
- If you are near the coast ask for the coastguard, if you are inland ask for fire service and ambulance.
- The emergency services will need to know where you are. Accurate information can save precious minutes.
- Look around for any landmarks or signs – for example bridges will often have numbers on them which can identify their location.
- Don’t hang up – stay on the line but try and continue to try to help the person by talking to them.
- Encourage them to try and float on their back – if there is rescue equipment nearby throw it to them.