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NFCC Water Safety Week - Be Water Aware

27/04/2018 13:00

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council's (NFCC's) drowning prevention and water safety campaign 'Be Water Aware' which runs from 23rd - 29th April.

As part of the ‘Be Water Aware’ campaign and ahead of the summer months, MAWWFRS have been training their Community Safety teams on water safety.

The training was conducted at the river Teifi in Llandysul and comprised of exposing the teams to the hazards that water presents in a controlled environment.

Watch Manager Anthony Mathias, Instructor for Water Safety within MAWWFRS, said “The Community Safety teams received full operational training to experience the hazards of water. This is important as they will be expected to educate the community on these dangers.”

Drowning in the UK is one of the 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.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service will raise awareness of the risks so people can enjoy the water safely and not end up as one of these shocking statistics.

NFCC's Water Safety Lead, Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whittaker, said " Most people would be shocked to hear that those people drowning just happen to be near water such as runners and walkers. They are unaware of the risks and are totally unprepared for the scenario of ending up in the water. By highlighting this issue and making sure simple safety messages reach them we hope to reduce the number of these needless deaths."

Safety advice

• If you are going for a walk or run near water stick to proper pathways and stay clear of the water’s edge

• Make sure conditions are safe, avoid walking or running near water in the dark, slippery or in bad weather

• If you've had alcohol don't enter the water, avoid walking alone and avoid 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

The fire service has successfully reduced the number of fire deaths by focusing on prevention work and now we must apply the same principle to tackling drowning. Response is not enough - we must prevent drownings.