Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to stay safe in Cumbria’s waters as the weather warms up over the next week.
Group Manager Angela Opie, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Prevention Lead, said:
“We want people to enjoy spending time in and around water safely. In Cumbria, we carried out more than 200 water rescues between 2015 and 2020, which sadly included 8 fatalities. And in 2021 alone, there were 3 water-related fatalities in Cumbria.
“This is because they were unaware of the risks and unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach our communities, we hope to reduce the number of these preventable deaths.”
Stay safe this Summer by following Cumbria FRS’s water safety advice:
- If you are spending time near water, make sure you know what to do if you happened to fall in. Remember Float to Live. The advice is not to panic, float on your back and then either call for help or swim to safety.
- If you’ve consumed alcohol, do not enter the water, and avoid walking on routes near water.
- Never enter the water to try and help a person or animal – always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available.
- If you are spending time near water whether at home or abroad, make sure you are familiar with local safety information and that children are always fully and actively supervised.
Group Manager Angela Opie added:
“Our county has lots of beauty spots near the water and they are especially nice to enjoy when the sun is shining. We don’t want to spoil people’s fun by telling them not to jump into rivers and lakes, but we do feel it is important to educate the whole community about the risk open water poses if you are not a trained professional with the correct equipment.”
“Prevention is always better than cure. We want people to enjoy the water safely and we are fully committed to preventing drowning incidents from happening in the first place. In order to do this, more education is needed, not just in schools but also through engaging with the public in awareness campaigns, so that people fully understand the risks and are better prepared.”
Keep our Countryside safe
Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness. Please, help us keep our countryside safe this Summer:
- Don’t use barbecues in rural areas.
- Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly.
- Avoid using open fires in the countryside.
- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows – they can easily ruin whole fields of crops.
- Do not leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start large fires. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
- If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately by calling 999 and asking for the Fire Service.
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service would also like to reiterate guidelines for the safe use of barbeques at home:
- Never leave a lit barbecue unattended.
- Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
- Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
- Don’t use accelerants such as lighter fluid or alcohol – this can cause fires to quickly become uncontrollable. Instead, light your barbeque with plenty of time to spare.
- Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
- After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
- Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.
- Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.
- Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
- Never use a barbecue indoors.
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service will be sharing a range of resources on their website and social media channels, so please look out for further advice.
Further information from our partners: