Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is urging parents to make sure their children know how to stay safe and enjoy the water this summer.

With many of us opting for staycations once again this year, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), fears that families will flock to beaches and inland water locations this summer, without considering the potential dangers, putting themselves and others at risk. Or for those of us who will be venturing abroad for their summer holiday, they may find themselves using non-lifeguarded pools and therefore be at risk if they do not have the necessary water safety skills.

Figures indicate that around 25% of primary school pupils leave school unable to swim, and experts fear that as a result of the pandemic many young people lacking the ability to swim or self-rescue.

The national Drowning Prevention Week aims to equip everybody across the UK and Ireland with the skills and knowledge, to make the right decisions about water safety.

Over 400 people accidentally drown in the UK and Ireland every year and many more suffer injury, sometimes life-changing, when they survive drowning.

Group Manager Angela Opie, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Prevention Lead, said:

“We are proud to play our part in ensuring our families have a safe summer. We recognise how vitally important it is for children to know how to stay safe near water and urge our parents to access RLSS UK’s free water safety resources on the Charity’s website, which include fantastic theme week lesson plans to allow schools to incorporate the resources into our existing lessons. We want our pupils to enjoy all of the fun and benefits of being in and around water but be educated on how to do that safely.”

“Cumbria’swaterways should be places where everyone feels at ease, and can take pleasure from their surroundings, whatever their age, whatever their activity level. But we’re urging people to educate themselves and others on how to enjoy water safely and prevent a fun day out ending in tragedy.

“The Drowning Prevention Week campaign is crucial this year. Throughout 2020 and 2021, young people have missed out on the vital opportunity to swim, leaving a dramatic gap in school swimming and water safety education.

“We believe that through free, accessible education and training, everyone can enjoy water safely. We urge as many parents as possible to get involved with the campaign, use our free online resources, and give their children the skills to enjoy a lifetime of fun in the water.”

Visit www.rlss.org.uk to access the Charity’s free water safety resources.


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