Be Water Aware 2022

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are joining Fire and Rescue Services across the UK to support NFCC’s Be Water Aware (25 April – 1 May) campaign and are asking people to stay safe when spending time in and around water as the weather begins to improve.

The purpose of the campaign is to warn and inform people of the risk of accidentally drowning when in and around water. Nearly 50 percent of people who accidentally drowned in 2020 had no intention of entering the water – many others underestimate the risk of jumping into cold water. In both instances, the effects of cold-water shock and not knowing how to self-rescue can cause even the strongest swimmers to drown.

Even on a warm day, the temperatures in open water can remain very cold, causing a physical reaction which can make it difficult to control breathing, cause panic and make it difficult to swim.

If you do find yourself in difficulty in the water…

  • Don’t panic and fight your instinct to thrash around
  • Instead, lean back in the water and float on your back until the effects of cold-water shock pass
  • Then you can call for help or swim to safety
  • If someone is in trouble in water, call 999 and ask for the Coast Guard (at the coast) or the Fire Service (if inland)
  • NEVER enter the water to attempt a rescue

For more safety advice and guidance, please visit our Water Safety Page.

Dawn Whittaker, NFCC Lead for Drowning Prevention, said:

“Most people would be shocked to hear that in 2020, 254 lives were lost simply because people were spending time in and around water. These deaths are preventable, so we ask everyone to be water aware.

NFCC work closely with Fire and Rescue Services and partners to encourage people to be safe around water and to highlight the risk of accidental drowning. As the weather improves, services across the country, along with our colleagues in HM Coastguard and RNLI, can be faced with huge numbers of calls to help people in trouble in water. By raising awareness now, we hope to keep people safe and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities in water as summer approaches.”

Look out for #BeWaterAware and #RespectTheWater on social media for more information and safety advice.

Helpful Resources: