Image demonstrating Why it is important to be Water Aware

Why it is important to be Water Aware

As part of drowning prevention and water safety week, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service are reminding residents of the importance of staying safe when in or near water.

WATCH > Station manager Gary Laskey talk about being #WaterAware


As the weather is getting warmer you may be encouraged to take a dip in a river or lake to cool down, however, NFRS are reminding people of the dangers associated with open water.

Drowning is one of the UK's leading causes of accidental death. Each year more than 300 people drown after tripping, falling or just by underestimating the risks associated with being near water. Many more people are left with life changing injuries in water related incidents.

Paul Hedley, Chief Fire Office at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “We want to remind all residents of water safety, particularly if you enter the water unexpectedly.

“It is important to remember that if you enter the water unexpectedly then you will be in cold water shock which may result in panic, shortness of breath and raised blood pressure which could all lead to cardiac arrest. If you find yourself in this situation then our advice is to try and remain calm and steady your breath, also try to relax and float on the top of the water as you may find it hard to swim, due to the effect cold water will have on your ability. If there is anyone around then try and catch their attention to let them know that you are in trouble so they can help you and alert the emergency services.

“If you see someone in distress in the water then you should look for any life saving equipment such as life jacket or life rings nearby that you could throw to them and always ring 999 for the emergency services.”

Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member with responsibility for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said: “Across Northumberland, NFRS have 3 specialist water rescue units equipped to deal with water rescue. We always urge residents and visitors to the area to be vigilant around water so as not to accidentally fall in, however, when incidents occur we are well equipped and well trained to deal with them.”

For further information about keeping yourself and loved ones safe near water, visit:
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