Keep safe around water advice

16 July 2020

With temperatures remaining consistently high over the coming weeks and facilities like pubs and cafes now open, it is vital that adults and children keep safe near water.
Nottinghamshire County Council, a member of the Nottinghamshire Water Safety Partnership, is warning people of the dangers of swimming in rivers, lakes or reservoirs and encouraging people of all ages to learn to swim.

The Water Safety Partnership is keen to stress that water may look safe but there are many dangers, including:
• very cold temperatures – the water can be colder than expected even in warm weather resulting in people suffering cold water shock 
• hidden currents – there can be strong underwater currents, which can trouble even the most confident swimmers
• reservoirs are often very deep
• there may be hidden debris or underwater hazards which can cause injury
• it can be difficult to get out as banks may be steep and slippery

More than 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland every year and many more suffer life-changing injuries, according to latest figures from the Royal Life Saving Society.

Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It is so important that we get water safety messages across to children and young people especially at this time of year.

“People need to enjoy water safely, to keep their families and friends safe and to know what to do in an emergency.

“Another key message is that learning to swim is a life skill and should be promoted to all ages, you never know but one day it could save your life.”

The County Council has worked closely in the past with Nicola Jenkins who set up OWEN – the Open Water Education Network – in memory of her son Owen, who tragically lost his life in July 2017 when he valiantly rescued two girls who got into difficulties at Beeston Weir. He managed to get them to safety, but he lost his footing and was sucked under the water.

OWEN aims to educate people about being safe around water and to prevent further tragic loss of lives. 

Coun Cutts added: “We all want to enjoy the warm weather and all the fun activities water has to offer at home and abroad but to do safely by following simple advice.”

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