Bar and restaurant staff working in Cardiff Bay have received lifesaving water rescue training

Bar and restaurant staff working in Cardiff Bay have received lifesaving water rescue training

Bar and restaurant staff working in Cardiff Bay have received lifesaving water rescue training by firefighters and the RNLI.

Staff from Cardiff Bay’s bars and restaurants have today received unique water safety training with the aim of helping to save lives.

Throughout the UK every year there are around 300 deaths, averaging at nearly 6 a week. In South Wales, 25 people lose their lives every year in the water through accidental and natural causes. Emergency services are working to reduce these numbers but urge the public to please stay safe around water.

The Waterside Community Responder Scheme in partnership South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the RNLI charity helps educate those who work close to water – especially areas where a lot of alcohol is consumed.

Staff from the Coffi Co, Cadwaladers and Mermaid Quay situated near the bays waters, were among those who received training on the dangers that cold water poses to their customers, and how to rescue people safely. They learnt earn how to use a throw line and what to do when people get into distress in or near the water. They were also provided with the knowledge and equipment to help rescue people safely.

People who fall into cold water follow the same instinct, to gasp, thrash about and swim hard. But this is the worst thing to do. It increases chances of water entering the lungs and increases strain on the heart. If you fall into cold water, fight your instinct to swim hard. Instead just float until you can regain control of your breathing before trying to swim to safety or call for help. You’ll have a far better chance of staying alive.

Gemma from Coffi Co attended the training and said: ‘As we run a lot of events at Coffi Co and we have an alcohol licence, today’s training has been really informative and useful for us and we now feel better prepared to deal with any water rescues that may occur.’

Leading the initiative, Station Manager Steve Hulme from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service says: ‘ This training is vital in keeping our communities safe around water by equipping those working near open water with the knowledge and skills to help at such incidents. The idea behind training staff at pubs, bars and restaurants is they will be able to encourage good behaviours by giving the public knowledge and advice, and they will ultimately know what to do if someone did enter the water. Even one death is too many and we encourage everyone to think about their safety and the safety of their loved ones when near water.’

Chris Cousens, RNLI Community Partner says: ‘The RNLI is delighted to be working alongside South Wales Fire and Rescue to deliver this lifesaving Community Waterside Responder training, while taking all steps necessary to ensure the safety of trainers and trainees in the COVID environment. Around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream. We know that this as a risk to people in the region, especially people suffering from cold water shock when they didn’t intend to be in the water. Having people on hand with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take the correct action in an emergency situation before emergency services arrive can make all the difference. This training scheme aims to raise awareness and ultimately help save a life. We encourage venues to sign up and help keep themselves and their staff safe.’

If any member of the public sees somebody struggling in the water, we advise them to call 999.